Pakistan's Shoaib banned for 13 matches

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LAHORE, Oct 11 (Reuters) Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar has been banned for 13 international matches and fined 3.4 million rupees (56,000 dollar) by the disciplinary committee of the country's cricket board for four breaches of the code of conduct.

The committee also placed the fast bowler on a two-year probation period during which if he is found guilty of violating the code of conduct he could be banned for life..

However, chairman of the committee Shafqat Naghmi said today Shoaib's suspension would be counted from the Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa last month, so having missed seven matches he would be banned for five more games.

''He will not be considered for the five-match one-day series against South Africa but can make himself available for selection for the Indian tour (in November),'' Naghmi told reporters.

Shoaib, who was present at the news conference, said he would not be filing an appeal and that he had learnt his lesson.

''I am just happy the nightmare is over for me and my main goal is now playing for Pakistan again. I have apologised to Asif and the board for the incident in South Africa. I have suffered enough,'' he said.

The 13-match ban and fine of 3.4 million is the highest imposed on any player in Pakistan cricket history.

Shoaib was sent back from the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa by the team management after he hit Mohammad Asif with a bat.

REUTERS PDS PM1826

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