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Panel likely to finalise findings in Akhtar case

"We have a lot of material relevant to this case," Fakhruddin Ibrahim, chairman of committee said.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2006 23:35 IST

The committee formed to hear appeals against doping bans on Pakistan fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif is likely to finalise its findings this week, the chairman of the committee said on Monday.

"This is not an easy task," said chairman Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, a prominent lawyer. "It will take another three to four days, but I still can't give the time frame."

A Pakistan Cricket Board tribunal in October banned Akhtar and Asif for two years and one year respectively after both players tested positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone. The board withdrew the players a day before Pakistan was due to play its opening International Cricket Council's Champions Trophy match in India in October. Akhtar and Asif returned their positive samples during internal doping tests conducted by the board. A three-member committee comprising Ibrahim, a prominent lawyer, Haseeb Ahsan, a former test cricketer, and Dr. Danish Zaheer, an anti-doping expert, is hearing the players' appeals. Akhtar's lawyer Abid Minto had sought some documents from the board, which he had said were necessary for his client's defense. "He (Minto) has got the relevant documents," Ibrahim said. Renowned lawyer Mark Gay, who assisted the board during the International Cricket Council's code of conduct hearing following the Oval test forfeit fiasco in August, has also traveled to Pakistan to help the committee.

"We have a lot of material relevant to this case," Ibrahim said.

"We are trying to understand the case and today discussed the submissions produced before us by Mark Gay last week." Both banned players appeared before the three-member committee with their lawyers on Monday.

"They (players) would be called again tomorrow," Ibrahim said. "Once we complete our hearing we would look into all the aspects and give full chance to the players before taking a final decision."

Despite missing Akhtar and Asif, Pakistan recorded a thumping nine-wicket victory in the first test against the West Indies on Tuesday with its second string pacemen Umar Gul and Shahid Nazir sharing 15 wickets in the match.

First Published: Nov 20, 2006 22:52 IST