Rawalpindi Express halted

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Bangalore, Apr 30: The Pakistan Cricket Board has upheld its five-year ban imposed on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. Aftab Farukh, the judge heading a three-member appellate panel on Monday said, "Basically he has not tried to reform himself and has continued to violate discipline. That is the view of the tribunal so the ban stays." We will not suspend five-year ban order on Shoaib."Shoaib has harmed the board, fans and the entire country," he added.

Farukh said the tribunal had taken this decision in view of the unconditional apology submitted by Shoaib on Monday to the nation, his team and the Board for his actions and deeds. Farukh said the tribunal would resume proceedings against the overall ban in June.There were strong words from the media advisor of the PCB, Amir Bilal, as well. Shoaib is in a habit of apologising time and again and then repeating the same mistake. PCB wants to set its record right and does not want such things to happen again in Pakistan cricket," he said.

"No player is bigger than the game and PCB will not compromise on indiscipline. The decision is in the larger interest of the game. Discipline should be maintained in game be it in the case of Harbhajan or Shoaib.
"It would be best for Shoaib to say goodbye to Pakistan cricket and start looking for an alternative career in international cricket," he added, making the intentions of the PCB clear to not have Shoaib Akhtar around in any capacity.

The PCB, however, said that there was no restriction on Shoaib to play in the ongoing Indian Premier League. Earlier, the board had refused to let him play in the BCCI-backed Twenty20 tournament.

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