Akhtar can't play in IPL unless ban is lifted: Modi

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shoaibakhtar1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> IPL Chairman Lalit Modi has made it clear that the Pakistani bowler can't take part in the high-profile competition till the PCB lifts the ban on him.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:22 IST
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Two days after being handed out a five-year ban for bringing cricket into disrepute, Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday suffered another major setback with the Indian Premier League (IPL) also debarring him from taking part in the cash-rich event.

The IPL's Governing Council made it clear that Akhtar would not play in the Indian Premier League unless its counterpart, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), lifted the five-year ban on him.

Shoaib, who was banned after several run-ins with the board on disciplinary issues, had on Wednesday said that he intended to take the Pakistan cricket board to court if necessary. The bowler asserted that he had always thought of Pakistan's cricket interests and never gave in to the offers made by match fixers.

"A big discussion on Akhtar has taken place. The decision of the Governing Council was very simple that Akhtar has been banned for a period of five years, he has appealed... and till the time he is cleared the Governing Council will not be allowing Akhtar from playing in the IPL," said Lalit Modi, the IPL's Governing Council Chairman.

Modi said Akhtar had appealed to the PCB to overturn the ban and it was now up to the concerned Board to take a decision on the matter.

"So if his appeal is upheld he will be taken into the IPL," Modi said.

Akhtar has been roped in by the Kolkata Knightriders, owned by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan for the IPL, which will begin from April 18.

The 32-year-old Akhtar has been banned for five-years by the PCB, which found him guilty on six counts, including criticising the policies of the Board.

Another IPL Governing Council membert I S Bindra said it would be "odd" if Akhtar being banned to play for his country plays in the IPL.

"If he can't play for Pakistan, how can we play him? There will be no discipline left in the game, if we play him. It will set an unwanted precedent," said the former BCCI President.

"We (the IPL) want to be a part of the international system, not operate outside it. If somebody is banned on disciplinary grounds, that is a serious offence, and we felt it would be very odd if he was to play in IPL," he was quoted as saying on a cricket website.

(With PTI inputs)

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