Apr 01, 2008 at 11:10pm IST

Shoaib Akhtar gets 5-year ban for foul delivery | 'It's unfair'

Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday banned pacer Shoaib Akhtar for five years for speaking against the board.

Board chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf told a news conference that the ban had been imposed on the recommendations of the PCB disciplinary committee and that the bowler had the right to lodge an appeal.

"He can't play for Pakistan or anywhere in Pakistan. But he can play in the Indian Premier League which is not in our jurisdiction," he said.

CRICKET'S BAD BOY: Shoaib Akhtar in a Test match against India in Bangalore last year.

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was issued a reprimand and warning for giving statements against policies of the board.

Akhtar and Kaneria appeared before the disciplinary committee to respond to the charges of speaking out against the policies of the board and other violations of the code.

Akhtar was under a two-year probation for assaulting teammate pacer Mohd. Asif during the Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa in September last year.

"He (Akhtar) committed repeated offences of indiscipline from 2004 to 2008, around 15 in total. We gave him lots of chances in the past but he reached a stage where he had become damaging for himself and Pakistan cricket and a habitual offender. The board has lost confidence in Shoaib Akhtar," said Ashraf.

In new contracts given out to Pakistani players, the penalties for speaking out against the policies of the board include a fine of Rs. 1 million to Rs 10 million, three penalty points in the contract and even a ban of one to seven matches.

Akhtar, however, has not been given a new central contract but instead offered a special retainer which he has refused to accept. Akhtar has a history of disciplinary problems.

Last year, the board fined him US$52,000 and banned him from 13 international matches for hitting fellow bowler Mohammad Asif with a bat in South Africa.

(With inputs from Reuters and AP)

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