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Akhtar kicks up controversy

cricket Updated: Jan 18, 2010 23:35 IST
Bivabasu Kumar
Bivabasu Kumar
Hindustan Times
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On the eve of the players’ auction for the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar claimed the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) haven’t cleared his dues.

Akhtar was one of the six Pakistani players whose contracts were terminated after the Mumbai terror attacks. Tense political situation between the countries forced the IPL franchisees either to buy out the Pakistani players or temporarily suspend their contracts.

While KKR wished to buy out Akhtar, agreeing to pay his dues and signed legal documents towards the same, a year on, the Pakistan speedster said he is yet to get whatever was due to him after the first year.

“After the first year (for which he was paid), they wanted to put me in the IPL trading window. Then, they approached me saying they want to buy me out. Legal papers were exchanged, but I have not received a single penny till date from the KKR,” Akhtar said.

“I had problems with point two of the IPL’s contract buy out agreement and had replied saying I want hundred per cent payment for being released from KKR. But they said it’s non-negotiable and since then, every time I tried to contact any KKR official, they said they have instructions from Mr Lalit Modi not to pay any money to Pakistani players.” he added.

According to clause two of the buy out contract, the franchisee shall pay to a particular player his dues as applicable. But there’s a rider. Fifty per cent of the money will be paid within 30 days of signing the agreement and the remaining 50 per cent (as in Shoaib’s buy out contract) will be paid on October 31, 2010. And that’s not all.

The player must also comply with other terms of the contract, failing which he will not be paid the second installment.

Akhtar is miffed with this shabby treatment and said the political tension between the two countries has made life worse for Pakistani players. “I had a three-year contract with KKR and they should have, at least, paid me 50 per cent of my contract money. The KKR had hired me and not Lalit Modi.”

When HT contacted KKR team director Joy Bhattacharya, who was marked in all mails exchanged between the two parties, he said: “I have no idea. He is happy to talk to anyone. As far as I am concerned I have no such idea and I have received no such intimation.”