Jul 04, 2008 at 04:25pm IST

Court lifts ban, Shoaib free to play for Pak

Karachi: The Lahore High Court on Friday lifted an 18-month ban on Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for indiscipline.

Judge Sayed Zahid Hussain said in his ruling Friday that the ban was suspended until after the summer break when the court resumes hearing the case. That is expected to be in September.

Initially, court secretary Jamshed Akhtar told reporters the ban had been ''lifted,'' but the judge's written ruling made clear a final decision is yet to come.

FREE TO PLAY: Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar gets good news from Lahore court.

Although the court lifted the suspension, it did not remove Rs 70 lakh ($101,000) fine imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appellate tribunal last month.

The court said that Shoaib is now eligible for selection to the Pakistan team till the interim order on the case is spelt out.

The PCB handed the volatile fast bowler a five-year ban in April for several instances of indiscipline and violating the conditions of a two-year probation. The tribunal later reduced the suspension to 18 months with a fine.

(With inputs from Reuters and AP)

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