PCB defends ban on Akhtar

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pakistancricketboard.jpg' class='caption'> The PCB has defended its decision to ban Shoaib Akhtar.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:22 IST
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Under pressure to reconsider its five-year ban on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, the PCB on Thursday defended its decision saying ball tampering, doping scandals, abusing officials and brawls with team-mates were linked with him.

The PCB's disciplinary committee chairman Lieutenant General (retired) Muneer Hafeez said banning Akhtar was a difficult but the right decision and there was no "ulterior motive" involved in it.

"I can tell you with all honesty that there was no ulterior motive involved in the ban. It was a situation where we had to decide how much longer could we allow Shoaib Akhtar to keep on violating discipline and work ethic," Hafeez said.

"For years now, he has been violating team ethics and discipline. For years now, he has been challenging authority and defying the management," Hafeez, who had recommended the severe sanction against Akhtar, said.

"There have been numerous incidents of fitness problems and breaking down in matches and tours. The ban is not just for giving statements against the policies of the Board but for other violations as well," Hafeez said.

He pointed out that Akhtar's two-year probation for hitting Mohammad Asif with a bat made it incumbent on the committee to take some action against him.

"The fact that he was also under a two-year probation and he accepted this condition last year when he was banned for 13 matches and fined 3.4 million rupees made it incumbent on us to take some action," Hafeez added.

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