New Delhi: Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been banned for 18 months by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Appellate Tribunal.
The tribunal while announcing the ban on Saturday also imposed a fine of Rs 70 lakh on Shoaib. He had earlier been banned for five years by the PCB and following his appeal, the case was referred to the Appellate Tribunal.
"The tribunal has taken the decision with a clear conscience and under no pressure from either the board or anyone else. We also took into consideration the past record of Shoaib and that he had publicly apologised for his behaviour and past deeds," Justice Aftab Farrukh, head of Appeleate Tribunal, said.
His lawyer Abid Hasan Minto said," We will study the judgement and then decide on further appeal."
The 18-month ban could still mean that this could very well be the end of Shoaib's career.
It is not yet clear if he will continue to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"Decision on whether Shoaib will play in IPL again can only be taken by its management closer to the tournament. I'm sure we would be able to work something out then as well," Joy Bhattacharya, team director of Knight Riders, said.
The IPL authorities had made his entry into the league conditional on result of his appeal.
In 2007, just before the Twenty20 World Championship Shoiab was banned for 13 matches and fined Rs 34 lakh for hitting teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat in South Africa.
Earlier in October 2006, Shoaib and Asif were banned for two and one year each after testing positive for Nandrolone, a banned anabolic steroid in an internal dope test of PCB.