Ashraf formally withdraws defamation suit against Akhtar | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ashraf formally withdraws defamation suit against Akhtar

cricket Updated: May 16, 2008 18:20 IST
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Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Nasim Ashraf on Friday formally withdrew the 220 million rupee defamation suit which he filed against maverick pacer Shoaib Akhtar, from a civil court in Lahore.

Ashraf's lawyer Tafazzul Rizvi, however, told reporters that the suit could be refiled in future if the need arises.

"As of now this suit is withdrawn because Shoaib Akhtar has publicly apologised and said sorry to the chairman whose honour stands vindicated now," Rizvi said.

Ashraf filed the defamation suit after the fast bowler alleged on a television show that the PCB chief had asked for money from a number of players, including him, for allowing them to play in inaugural Indian Premier League.

Akhtar, who was handed a five year ban by the disciplinary committee of the board, later retracted all his allegations and apologised for reacting irresponsibly and causing hurt and anguish to Ashraf.

The PCB chief had then decided to withdraw the suit saying that he felt vindicated by the apology of the fast bowler though it was learnt that a top government official, Rehman Malik, intervened into the matter by presiding over a meeting between Akhtar and Ashraf.

Justice (retd.) Aftab Farrukh, who is heading the tribunal that is hearing Akhtar's appeal on the five-year ban, denied any connection between the dropping of the lawsuit and the decision on the appeal.

"This is totally independent matter from the appeal we are hearing in the tribunal. The withdrawal of the suit has no bearing on the appeal we have to decide on," Justice Farrukh said.