Akhtar hearing yet again postponed

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shoaibakhtar7.jpg' class='caption'> The hearing of the Lahore High Court to determine if Shoaib Akhtar can play in the National Twenty20 Cricket Championship without paying a fine or not.

Updated: October 03, 2008 12:36 IST
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Islamabad, Pakistan:

A Lahore court has postponed a decision until Oct. 8 on whether fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar must pay an outstanding 7 million Pakistan rupee ($90,660) fine in order to be eligible for domestic or international cricket.

"The hearing has to be postponed because it's still Eid holidays and the judge has given the new date," Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Mansoor Suhail told the Associated Press.

The PCB sought a ruling from Lahore High Court judge Sayed Zahid Hussain on whether Akhtar was eligible to play in or for Pakistan without paying the fine.

Last month, the cricket board dropped its opposition to the paceman playing in a domestic Twenty20 tournament that begins in Lahore from Saturday.

"We don't want to mix legal and cricketing issues and Akhtar can play in the Twenty20 tournament from October 4," PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said.

Akhtar is due to represent Islamabad Leopards in the Twenty20 tournament and his performance will be closely watched by Pakistan selectors and coach Geoff Lawson, who arrived from holiday in Australia late Thursday.

The selectors will use the tournament to choose a squad next week for the Twenty20 tournament in Toronto (Oct.10-13) in which Zimbabwe, Canada and Sri Lanka would also compete.

Akhtar was fined and handed a five-year ban in April by a PCB tribunal for a disciplinary breach after he criticized the Pakistan selectors. The ban was later reduced to 18 months by another tribunal, but a heavy fine was recommended.

The Lahore High Court in July suspended Akhtar's 18-month ban, but did not give any ruling against the financial penalty.

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