Karachi, May 5 : In yet another reprieve to Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Nasim Ashraf, has withdrawn a defamation lawsuit against him following a public apology.
Ashraf and the PCB had sued Akhtar for three million dollars after he alleged in an interview the day after the ban that the board chief had demanded payments from the bowler's contract to play in an Indian domestic tournament.
"I have withdrawn the defamation case as my honour was vindicated after Akhtar apologised publicly and retracted his baseless allegations," Ashraf told a foreign news agency.
"I forgive him as it was a matter of principle," The News quoted him as saying further.
Local media said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's Adviser on Interior Affairs, Rehman Malik, brokered the deal at a dinner in his house in Islamabad Sunday night where Ashraf forgave Akhtar.
Shoaib, who is facing a five-year ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for violating the players' code of conduct, has also been allowed to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Earlier, an appellate tribunal of the PCB had decided to suspend the five-year ban on him by a month.
The IPL authorities had refused to allow the fast bowler to play in the league despite the tribunal's decision earlier this week to allow him play outside Pakistan while retaining the ban on him.
Abid Minto, one of Shoaib's lawyers, had asked the tribunal to start the hearing, which was deferred till June, and suspend the five-year ban so that the bowler can play in the IPL.
On Saturday, Shoaib said that the tribunal should suspend the ban temporarily as it would take time to come to a final decision, by which time the IPL would be over. The tribunal had earlier upheld the five-year ban on Shoaib on charges that he had committed severe acts of indiscipline.
Shoaib was signed up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for 425,000 dollars, but was barred from playing the tournament "in the interests of international discipline."