PCB halts Rawalpindi Express for five years
The bad boy of Pakistan cricket paceman Shoaib Akhtar can’t be away from controversies for too long as the latest jolt to hit him is the five year suspension from playing cricket laid down by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) due to the violation of the players' code of conduct.
The Rawalpindi Express as he is popularly known appeared before a disciplinary committee on Tuesday after being charged of openly criticising PCB. Akhtar was already under two years' probation period for hitting his teammate with a bat. Meanwhile Akhtar had also the right to appeal against the decision.
The 32-year-old Akhtar was earlier banned for 13 matches and fined 3.4 million rupees for thumping fellow paceman Mohammad Asif with a bat just before the start of the Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa.
"The disciplinary committee has recommended a five year-ban on Shoaib Akhtar. He will be barred to play for Pakistan across the world and also can not play in Pakistan," PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters after the meeting.
"The PCB has lost confidence in Shoaib Akhtar and therefore felt that his presence in the team was damaging the image of Pakistan cricket and its also nit good for Pakistan players," Ashraf added.
However Akhtar got a big respite, as he would still be able to play for other teams around the world, the PCB permitted the fast bowler to play for the lucrative Indian Premier League next month and in county cricket.
The ban in fact put an end to the controversial eleven-year career of the world's fastest and Pakistan’s maverick bowler His illustrious career has been marred by injuries and discipline problems.
The speedster played his last match for Pakistan in the third and final Test against India at Bangalore in December last year. Akhtar picked up 178 wickets in 46 Tests, while his ODI wickets tally stands at 219 in 138 one-day matches.
Akhtar was also not picked up in the team for the series against Zimbabwe in February and was also omitted from next month's first two limited overs international against Bangladesh.
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