PCB chief files defamation suit against Akhtar

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shoaibakhtar_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Shoaib Akhtar's never-ending woes have been compounded further with PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf slapping a Rs 220 million defamation suit against him.

Updated: May 13, 2008 12:49 IST
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Banned pacer Shoaib Akhtar's never-ending woes have been compounded further with Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Nasim Ashraf on Friday slapping a Rs 220 million defamation suit against him.

Tafazzul Rizvi, the legal counsel for Ashraf, filed the suit in a civil court in Lahore headed by Judge Hina Muzaffar. The court will begin hearing the case from Saturday.

The defamation suit has been filed against Shoaib for making allegations on a television show that the PCB Chairman had demanded money from him and other players for allowing them to sign contracts with the lucrative Indian Premier League.

Shoaib later retracted his claims and also made an unconditional apology before the appellate tribunal hearing his appeal against the five-year ban imposed on him by the disciplinary committee of the board.

Shoaib apologised for causing "grief and pain in particular to the Chairman of the board with the unsubstantiated and damaging allegations against him".

Rizvi said the filing of the defamation suit was a natural process of law.

As you are aware that we had already served a legal notice on behalf of Chairman PCB on Shoaib Akhtar for the defamation and defamatory statements he made on TV against the Chairman, Rizvi said.

Since we had never sent a legal notice ... there is a mandatory period of 14 days which had already lapsed ... therefore we approached the Civil Court and filed a suit for damages for defamation caused to the PCB Chairman, he explained.

Rizvi said the 220 million suit included damages to be paid within 15 days for making defamatory statements against the board and Pakistan team.

The lawsuit represents growing troubles for Shoaib who is serving a five-year ban has yet to get clearance to play in the Indian Premier League from its governing council.

The appellate tribunal had allowed Shoaib to play anywhere outside Pakistan while not removing the ban on him. But the IPL have yet to decide on allowing the fast bowler to play for the Kolkata Knight Riders team.

Rizvi said the defamation lawsuit would not affect the official stance of the board that Shoaib could play in the IPL.

Our stand remains clear we have no objection to him playing outside Pakistan.

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