Shoaib Akhtar apologized to the Pakistan cricket board and the general public at a hearing on Monday to appeal his five-year ban from domestic and international matches. The fast bowler filed an appeal with the PCB earlier this month after being found guilty of repeatedly breaching its code of conduct.
The PCB subsequently formed a tribunal headed by retired judge Farukh Aftab, former test cricketer Haseeb Ahsan and Salman Taseer, an ex-politician.
"He has submitted an apology with the tribunal in which he has apologized to his countrymen, the cricket board and his fellow cricketers," said Akhtar's lawyer, Abid Minto, after a two-hour meeting with the panel.
The PCB has also prepared a 200-million-rupee (US$3.2-million; euro2.1-million) defamation action against Akhtar after he accused board chairman Nasim Ashraf of victimizing and trying to extort money from him and other members of the national team.
"It doesn't mean that after submitting the apology Akhtar will be exonerated, but still it is an important development," Aftab said.
The next hearing of the tribunal will be held on Wednesday. The 32-year-old Akhtar was once cricket's fastest bowler. But injuries, as well as a series of disciplinary incidents, have restricted him to just 46 tests. The ban, if upheld, could end his career.