The Appellate Tribunal, formed to hear Shoaib Akhtar's appeal against the five-year ban imposed on him, on Thursday allowed the fast bowler to file a fresh appeal after his lawyer complained of not receiving some documents from the Pakistan Cricket Board.
The three-member tribunal held its first hearing today in Lahore but the proceedings were adjourned after only 45 minutes after Akhtar's lawyer argued that the PCB had still not provided them complete documents relating to the case.
"We have now allowed Akhtar's lawyer Abid Hasan Minto to file a fresh and revised appeal by April 21st after reviewing the additional documents," Justice (retd) Aftab Farrukh, who heads the three-member tribunal told a news conference.
He said the tribunal would now start proceedings from the April 26 and it would take around nine to 10 days to hear the arguments of both parties and then deliberate on the available evidence and arguments.
"I can't give a date on when we can reach a judgment," Farrukh said.
Akhtar was banned for five years on several counts of violating the players code of conduct by the Board, earlier this month.
The ban came as he was under a two-year probation since last year when he was banned for 13 matches and fined 3.4 million rupees for having a brawl with teammate Mohammad Asif in South Africa.
Many groups of people greeted Akhtar with slogans and banners in his favour while denouncing the Board and its Chairman when the fast bowler reached the National Cricket Academy for the hearing.
Justice Farrukh said the PCB has been told to provide Akhtar's lawyers with full documentation so that regular proceedings can begin.
Farrukh said both the parties would be given a fair chance to argue their case and if necessary personal and sensitive details disclosed during the proceedings would not be made public.
Akhtar said the hearing didn't last long because of incomplete documentations.
"My lawyers didn't get all the papers despite reminders to the Board. But I am still very confident I will get justice based on the facts of this case," Akhtar told reporters.
The two other members of the tribunal include Former Test player Haseeb Ahsan and a former minister Salman Taseer.