Akhtar has ban lifted for a month

Pakistan pace bowler receives a short reprieve.

    Shoaib Akhtar, right, is off to India to improve
    his bank balance [GALLO/GETTY]
    Shoaib Akhtar's five-year ban was lifted for one month, allowing the Pakistan paceman to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League.

    Akhtar's lawyers asked a Pakistan Cricket Board tribunal to temporarily lift the ban, because the IPL was refusing to allow him to take part in its competition while the ban stood, even though it did not apply to non-international cricket outside Pakistan.

    The paceman had been signed to a $450,000 contract by the Calcutta franchise in the IPL.

    The Twenty20 domestic competition will finish its inaugural season on June 1.

    "We have suspended the ban for one month," said Farrukh Aftab, chief of the PCB's tribunal said.

    "Had we not suspended the ban, he could not have played the in IPL which we thought was injustice to Akhtar.

    "From June 4 the five-year ban will be effective again."

    Lalit Modi, vice president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and chief organizer of the IPL, said he welcomed Akhtar's availability.

    "Akhtar's contract still stands, I'm going to call him and tell him to take the first flight to India," Modi said.

    On June 4, the PCB tribunal is expected to make a final decision on the fast bowler's appeal.

    Akhtar was banned for five years by the PCB for a series of disciplinary breaches.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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