'PCB can't force IPL to allow Akhtar'

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shoaibakhtar_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Pakistan Cricket Board says it will not wield its influence to get banned pacer Shoaib Akhtar back in the Indian Premier League.

Updated: May 13, 2008 12:47 IST
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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said it will not wield its influence to get banned pacer Shoaib Akhtar back in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

When asked about the IPL's decision to keep Akhtar out despite being initially contracted with the Kolkata Knight Riders, PCB legal counsel Tafazzul Rizvi said the board didn't have any jurisdiction on the matter.

"Look it is on their discretion if they want him to play. We cannot force anybody. But the PCB has shown a big heart in allowing him to play in the IPL despite the five-year ban on him. If they ask us we will tell them he is not stopped from playing anywhere outside Pakistan," Rizvi said.

The three-member appellate tribunal headed by (retired) Justice Farrukh Aftab on Wednesday rejected an application from Akhtar's lawyers to stay the ban imposed on him by the disciplinary committee of the board.

But the tribunal said it had no objection to Akhtar playing outside Pakistan till the proceedings of the tribunal resume on the appeal filed by the fast bowler against the ban in June.

"We can't force them (IPL) to get a player inducted in any squad. We know now very well how particularly they are about discipline. And if he (Shoaib) gets there, he would have to follow their disciplines," Rizvi said.

The Indian Cricket Board and the IPL have yet to officially announce if they will allow Shoaib to play in the league for the Kolkata Knight Riders team.

The IPL had last month stopped Shoaib from joining his team because of the ban imposed on him by the PCB from playing for or anywhere in Pakistan.

Rizvi said Shoaib, in his appeal, had not asked the tribunal to allow him to play in the IPL.

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