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Shoaib Akhtar faces life ban: sources

The controversial Pakistani fast bowler has called the ongoing Pentangular Cup tournament as Grade 'B' cricket and evoked the ire of top PCB officials.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Karachi
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2008 09:46 PM IST

Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar faces a life ban following his latest outburst, which evoked anger among top officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

"This time he has gone too far. We had already issued a notice to him to explain his earlier statements against the policies of the Board. Now he will face more punitive action," a senior PCB official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

He made it clear that in the next few days, the Board will decide on banning Akhtar from the ongoing Pentangular Cup.

Akhtar had described the tournament as Grade 'B' cricket and lashed out at the Board for providing dead Kookaburra balls and a flat pitch for the Federal Areas match against Punjab.

The official said Akhtar was already under a one-year probation period during which, if he indulged in any misconduct, he could face an automatic life ban.

"Even if he is not contracted to us, there are certain playing conditions for the Pentangular Cup and also in the Board constitution which don't permit players to make such controversial and wrong statements," the official explained.

Leading the Federal Areas team, Akhtar went wicketless in 18 overs in a high-scoring drawn match.

He also dared the Board to issue a show cause notice to him over his statements insisting he was no longer contracted to them.

Sources close to the maverick fast bowler say he had been consulting his legal experts to take the Board head on if they decide to push ahead with their decision to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him.

They said Akhtar was fed up with the attitude of some Board officials and had been in secret talks with the rebel Indian Cricket League in case the PCB stops him from playing in the Indian Premier League.

"As far as Shoaib is concerned, it is all out war now," a source said.

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