Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had his five-year ban for indiscipline reduced to 18 months by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday.
Shoaib was also fined 7 million rupees by a PCB appeals tribunal. "The tribunal has taken the decision with a clear conscience and under no pressure from either the board or anyone else," tribunal head Justice Aftab Farrukh told a news conference, adding that the three-member tribunal unanimously felt the original punishment was too harsh.
"We also took into consideration the past record of Shoaib and that he had publicly apologised for his behaviour and past deeds," Farrukh said.
"He has promised to reform himself and we have also recommended to the board that he should be given proper counselling."
Shoaib was banned for five years by the PCB in April for several incidents of indiscipline and violating the conditions of a two-year probation.
Last year, the player was banned for 13 matches and fined 3.4 million rupees for striking team mate, Mohammad Asif with a bat in South Africa before the Twenty20 World Cup. He was sent home in disgrace.
The reduced ban still means that the 32-year-old Shoaib, who has played 46 tests and 138 one-day internationals, will miss the Asia Cup and Champions Trophy being hosted by Pakistan this year.
His lawyer Abid Hasan Minto said the player had the right to pursue an appeal against the 18-month ban. "But we will take a decision after going through the long and detailed order of the tribunal," Minto said.