PCB seeks court's advice over Shoaib's inclusion

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shoaibakhtar5.jpg' class='caption'> The PCB has moved to the Lahore HC to sought advice whether Shoaib Akhtar be allowed to play in the Twenty20 tournament without paying the fine.

Updated: September 18, 2008 17:07 IST
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The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought advice from the Lahore High Court on whether it can allow controversial Shoaib Akhtar to play in the domestic Twenty20 tournament even if the paceman delays the payment of a fine of seven million rupees.

The PCB legal counsel confirmed they have submitted an application with the Lahore High Court, which will hear a writ petition filed by Shoaib against his 18-months ban and fine imposed on him by an appellate tribunal of the Board.

Tafazzul Rizvi said the Board had asked him to get a court advice on the payment of fine as the legal notice sent to Shoaib clearly states that he can't play for Pakistan and anywhere in Pakistan without first paying the fine.

"We will act now after getting advice from the court," Rizvi said.

The fast bowler had a five-year ban imposed on him by the PCB's disciplinary committee which was later reduced to 18 months by the appellate tribunal in June which heard his appeal against the ban for disciplinary violations.

But the tribunal while reducing the ban asked him to pay a fine of seven million rupees.

Shoaib has filed a writ petition in the Lahore High Court against the ban and fine, but the court while suspending the ban has given no order on the payment of fine.

The court last week adjourned a hearing into Shoaib's appeal, which will now be heard at a later date.

Shoaib is presently playing for English county Surrey but has been dropped from their one-day squad raising fresh doubts over his fitness and form.

Although Islamabad have included Shoaib's name in there list of players for the Twenty20 competition starting from October 4, Rizvi reiterated Board's stand that he can only play if he pays the fine or gets a clear order from the court about it.

Bilal Minto, the lawyer for Shoaib said they had no problems paying the fine but would wait for the Court's order.

"There is no problem with paying the fine but we feel that since the case is in court we can wait for the court to reach a decision and then if it says pay the fine we will pay it. It is not a real issue," he said.

Shoaib's fitness is also under scrutiny with sources within the board confirming that the national selectors want him to play in the Twenty20 domestic event so that they can judge his fitness and form.

"The selectors are edgy about his fitness and they now want him to play in Pakistan, which is why the Board is also having second thoughts about their rigid stand on his paying the fine first to be eligible to play for Pakistan or anywhere in Pakistan," the source said.

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