Expressing full support to paceman Shoaib Akhtar, Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan on Friday said he would wait for the decision of the Pakistan Appelate Tribunal which will be hearing his appeal against the five-year ban before deciding the future course of action.
Khan, who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team of the IPL, said "As of now we are sad that a major player may not be available. But as per the spirit of the game we will stand by Shoaib and wait for the decision of the appellate tribunal and hope that it comes in his favour."
Asked what would he do in case the verdict goes against Shoaib, contracted to play for Knight Riders, Khan said in that case "we may think of going in for a new player in place of him provided the other IPL team permits".
Khan said he has spoken to the 32-year-old speedster and he naturally was depressed (following the ban).
"More than playing for IPL he (Shoaib) is hoping to play for his country again. Shoaib may be outspoken but this ban will be a lesson for him to control his outspokeness."
"Shoaib is a sportsman and he plays for a living. I, as a human being, hope he can play more cricket," he added.
Asked who would lead the bowling in his team, he said Umar Gul, Ajit Agarkar and Ishant Sharma were the options to spearhead the pace attack.
On whether he had discussed the matter with Sourav Ganguly, the team's skipper, he replied in the negative and said "I have not spoken to Ganguly as yet as he is playing a Test match (against South Africa in Ahmedbad)."