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Pakistani senators back Shoaib Akhtar

The Senate's standing committee on sports and culture summons Pakistan Cricket Board officials which banned Shoaib Akhtar.

cricket Updated: Apr 05, 2008 12:06 IST

The Senate's standing committee on sports and culture has summoned Pakistan Cricket Board officials and banned fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for a hearing to make sure that there was no "injustice" done to the cricketer.

Chairman of the committee Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry has summoned the Board officials, the Chairman of the Disciplinary committee that banned Shoaib and the fast bowler on April 17 after a requisition moved by a Senator of the ruling Peoples Party to discuss the gravity in Pakistan cricket affairs.

"The ban would be the top item on the agenda and we would like to hear both parties what they have to say. We just want to be clear no injustice has been done to anyone or by anyone," Zafar Iqbal said.

He said the Senators, who had requisitioned the hearing, also wanted the performances of the national team and the affairs of the Board discussed in detail.

Senator Enver Baig, who has led the move for the hearing, was sued by PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf last year after making some unsavory comments about him and the matter was patched up between the two after exchange of apologies.

"The hearing will be fair and we are not trying to start a witch hunt against the Board. But there are problems in the cricket set-up which need to be discussed. We also want to know the reasons behind such a harsh ban on a senior player," Baig said.

Baig and his fellow senators want to know on what grounds has Shoaib been banned for five years and the performances of the national team since Ashraf took over the reins of the Board in 2006.

Ashraf said he had no problems attending the hearing and would try to explain the action against Shoaib.

"The Board is always told that it is soft on disciplinary issues and when we take a hard decision we need the support of the people," he said.

He maintained that some vested interests were trying to politicise the Shoaib ban and also spreading rumours about the government changing the Board.