Lawson explains his side of story on Shoaib issue to PCB

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Lahore, Apr 7 (UNI) The Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson has given an explanation to the PCB over his press statements on the ongoing Shoaib Akhtar issue.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf yesterday disclosed that the coach had given an explanation to the Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghami for his press statement on the issue.

''The PCB will not allow any contractual cricketer or official to make comments on the issue, since we have decided to give a fair chance to Shoaib Akhtar to defend his case before the Appellate Tribunal,'' Dr Nasim told Dawn.

Earlier on Tuesday, the PCB imposed a five-year ban on Shoaib Akhtar on charges of a series of disciplinary violations and breaching the Players' Code of Conduct.

However, Akhtar appealed against the ban which will be heard by the Appellate Tribunal (AT) members who are yet to be named.

''I will announce the members either on Monday or Tuesday and will comprise one former Test cricketer and one former justice.

''Frankly, I have not been able to finalise any name for it yet as I am looking for a former Test cricketer who has not offered his opinion on the issue. Yes, it is tough to find someone who has not spoken over the issue but I hope it will be done,'' he added.

Ashraf further confirmed that the ICC's Anti-corruption unit officials will visit Pakistan to question Akhtar who had earlier revealed that he was offered money in India and South Africa to underperform.

''Yes, ACU is coming to Pakistan to inquire from Shoaib the factual position but so far the unit has only dispatched a notice to the bowler which has been delivered to him at his Lahore residence as well as in Islamabad,'' the chairman said.

There are reports that the ACU also made contact with Pakistan manager Talat Ali Malik and Director Cricket Operations Zakir Khan to inquire whether Shoaib had informed them about the offer made to him.

UNI XC RAR KD KP1107

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