PCB relents, withdraws defamation suit against Akhtar

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Lahore, May 16 (UNI) Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar got a major relief after PCB chief Nasim Ashraf formally withdrew the defamation suit against him from a civil court here today.

''As of now this suit is withdrawn because Shoaib Akhtar has publicly apologised and said sorry to the chairman whose honour stands vindicated now,'' Ashraf's lawyer Tafazzul Rizvi told mediapersons.

The lawyer, however, added that the suit could be refiled in future if the need arises.

Ashraf had filed the defamation suit against Akhtar after the temparamental pacer had alleged that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman had demanded money for allowing Pakistani cricketers to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Akhtar had later withdrawn his allegations and apologised to the PCB.

Ashraf's decision will not, however, have any impact on the hearing for Akhtar's five-year ban. Justice (retd) Aftab Farrukh, who is heading the tribunal that is the seamer's appeal, denied that he will be swayed by the PCB's action.

''This is totally independent matter from the appeal we are hearing in the tribunal,'' Farrukh said. ''The withdrawal of the suit has no bearing on the appeal we have to decide on.'' UNI XC AB RKM BD2115

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