Banned Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar's contract with the Indian Premier League (IPL) is still valid and he will be allowed to play if he is cleared by the Pakistan Appeallate Tribunal, IPL Governing Council head Lalit Modi said on Friday. <b1>
"His contract is still valid and has not been cancelled. He is still contracted to the IPL and through it to the Kolkata Knight Riders," Modi told reporters in Mumbai.
However, as per the rules of the BCCI any player who had been suspended by any other Cricket Board would not be allowed to play in the IPL, he said.
The Pakistani speedster, who was served a five-year ban by the Pakistani Cricket Board will not be allowed to play in the first IPL starting on April 18, BCCI officials had said on Thursday.
"We cannot have the siutation where a player banned for any reason is harboured by the IPL," Modi said.
"Currently his contract stands since he is in the appeal process... We hope it will be resolved at the earliest. His contract is not being cancelled presently," he said.
Akhtar, who is presently in the Kolkata Knight Riders team owned by actor Shah Rukh Khan, is on a three-year-long contract with the team.
Khan had come out in support of the Pakistani pacer on Thursday and had said he would speak to Modi on the issue.
Akhtar is expected to appeal this week before an Pakistan Appellate Tribunal against the five-year-ban imposed on him by the Pakistani Cricket Board for indisciplinary conduct.
The fast bowler had said he was offered money to underperform in matches but had refused it.
However, Modi said the matter would be looked into by the Anti-Corruption Unit of the International Cricket Council which looks into issues like match-fixing.