PCB gives Rawalpindi Express a week to make his case

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Lahore, Mar.23 : Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been given a week to present himself before a disciplinary committee investigating charges that he violated the players' code of conduct,Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials said Saturday.

PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters that if Akhtar did not appear before the committee within a week to explain himself, a decision would be made regardless.

Akhtar and leg spinner Danish Kaneria have been charged with criticising the PCB's policies after

new central contracts were given to 15 players in January.Akhtar was dropped and Kaneria demoted from the contracts list.

Last year, Akhtar, was banned for 13 matches and fined 3.4 million rupees for hitting team mate Mohammad Asif in South Africa before the Twenty20 World Cup.He was also dropped for the recent home series against Zimbabwe for lack of match fitness.

"We have empowered the disciplinary committee to take a decision on Akhtar and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria after giving them a proper hearing," The News quoted Ashraf, as saying.

Akhtar last month accused the PCB of double standards over the awarding of central contracts to players and criticised facilities during a first-class match. The case against Kaneria centres on a website column in which he expressed his anger after being demoted from a "B" category contract to a "C" category deal.

The 32-year-old Shoaib was dropped from Pakistan's list of 15 contracted players in January after the paceman had another disappointing year, plagued by injures and discipline problems. Instead, Akhtar was offered a special retainer deal, which he refused to sign.

"The PCB has double standards for me. At once they declare me unfit and drop me from central contract and then suddenly announce that I am fit and make me captain of a first-class team," Akhtar had said.

Despite occasional successes over the past two years, Akhtar has often attracted negative publicity. His flirtation with a Bollywood acting career has also irked the cricket authorities.

Meanwhile, the PCB's governing body has cleared Kaneria, pacer Rao Iftikhar and allrounder Yasir Arafat to play in English county cricket this year.

ANI

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