New Delhi, April 3 : Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice President Lalit Modi said on Thursday that Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar cannot participate in Indian Premier League (IPL) until the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) lifts the five-year ban on him.
Shoaib has been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board, and even though they have cleared him to play for IPL, we felt that international discipline needs to be respected," IS Bindra, a member of the IPL governing council, told Cricinfo.
"If he can't play for Pakistan, how can we play him? There will be no discipline left in the game, if we play him. It will set an unwanted precedent. We [the IPL] want to be part of the international system, not operate outside it. If somebody is banned on disciplinary grounds, that is a serious offence, and we felt it would be very odd if he was to play in IPL," he added.
But Shoaib could play in the IPL if he wins the appeal against his ban.
"If he is able to clear the ban and wins the appeal process, he will be allowed to play", Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, clarified to a private television channel.
A spokesman for the Kolkata Knight Riders confirmed that they have been informed by the IPL that Shoaib will not be available to play for them.
"In this situation, we will abide by the IPL directive as the final availability of a player depends on a clearance from the league," spokesman for the franchise said.
Akhtar termed the PCB's decision as unfair and malafide during a television interview. He added that he was awarded a major punishment for a minor offence. Akhtar was banned from playing cricket in Pakistan for five years on Tuesday, as the PCB felt that he had brought Pakistan cricket into disrespect through his various acts of indiscipline.
"We felt his presence has damaged Pakistan cricket's image," the PCB said.
Shoaib has said he would file an appeal with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) against the ban and would even go to the Supreme Court to seek justice. He charged the board with being prejudiced against him. The fast bowler, however, has his sympathisers Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has taken notice of the ban and issued directives to the PCB to revise the decision.
Former Pakistan cricket captains Imran Khan and Javed Miandad have called for the sacking of PCB officials responsible for the decision, saying the ban is unjustified.
Another former captain, Zaheer Abbas, who is currently on a visit to India said: "If you keep on banning players like this, it would have an adverse effect on the other players as well. When he (Shoaib Akhtar) has expressed his willingness to play with Bangladesh, you impose a five-year ban on him. You cannot kill the career of a player like this."