Controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar's hopes of ending his legal tussle with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) received a set-back on Monday when a hearing on his case against an 18-month ban and a fine of Rs 7 million was postponed indefinitely because the judge supervising the case has been dismissed from duty.
Lahore High Court (LHC) judge Imtiaz Siddiqui, hearing Shoaib's case, was one of the judges made non-functional following last week's ruling from Pakistan's Supreme Court.
In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s action of imposition of emergency Nov 3, 2007 and removal of judges of higher courts unconstitutional and illegal.
With the decision, Lahore High Court, formed after the declaration of emergency, stands dissolved. The verdict has made some 120 judges of the higher judiciary non-functional.
Shoaib now has to wait for an indefinite period before his case against the PCB is heard by the court.
Shoaib is currently eyeing a successful comeback to international cricket in spite of his legal feud with the PCB and fitness problems. He is hoping to return to national duty during Pakistan's tours of New Zealand and Australia starting in November this year.
Shoaib wants to follow a strict training regime to regain his form and fitness for a return to international cricket.
Pakistan are to tour New Zealand in November and will then fly out to Australia in December to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game.
Shoaib last played for Pakistan in the One-day series against Sri Lanka at home in January this year but was axed from the team because of poor form.
He was withdrawn from Pakistan's squad for the World Twenty20 because of a skin problem and was later overlooked for the ongoing away series against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan also dropped him from the 30-man provisional squad for the Champions Trophy that begins in South Africa on September 22.
The move has prompted legendary pacer Wasim Akram to announce that Akhtar's career is virtually over, saying that the warning bells had been sounded with Akhtar's omission from Pakistan's list of probables for the Champions Trophy.