Shoaib's ban will not affect his participation in IPL: Modi

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Mumbai, Apr 2 (UNI) The five-year ban slapped on pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar by the Pakistan Cricket Board will not affect his appearance for the Shahrukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knightriders in the DLF Indian Premier league (IPL) commencing on April 18, with the team taking on Bangalore Royal Challengers at Bangalore.

Talking to newsmen here today, DLF IPL Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi said that there was no problem as Pakistan had already issued no objection certificate for Shoaib's participation in the IPL.

Mr Modi also announced the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and DLF IPL partnership to support the MCC Spirit of Cricket initiative at the inaugural season of the IPL. The agreement envisaged each of the eight Indian franchises sign an MCC spirit of cricket declaration at the opening ceremony in Bangalore to demonstrate their commitment to uphold the spirit of the game.

Speaking on the occasion, MCC Secretary and Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw said MCC was delighted over DLF IPL embracing the MCC Spirit of Cricket initiative.

He termed the DLF IPL as an innovative and forward-thinking league that has captured the imagination of the cricketing world.

''It is pleasing that each player and each team will play their part in supporting the very best traditions of the game,'' he added.

Mr Modi said the partnership was both exciting and important.

''All eyes of the world would be on the DLF IPL and we want to see cricket, and the spirit of cricket at its best,'' he said. The players in the inaugural season would emerge role models for the entire generation of youth, Mr Modi added.

The MCC Spirit of Cricket challenge is entering its tenth year in the UK. The grass root programme introduced primary school children to the game. The challenge went beyond the shores of the UK in December last year when it visited Galle in Sri Lanka.

UNI VK RN AB KP1956

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