Akhtar appeals against 18-month ban

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Lahore, Jun 30 (UNI) Temparamental fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has filed a writ petition before the Lahore High Court challenging the ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Akhtar, who had been originally banned for five years, was granted a major relief earlier this month when a PCB-appointed Appellate Tribunal reduced the original ban to 18 months, besides fining him seven million rupees.

The 'Rawalpindi Express' is however not happy with the tribunal verdict and is seeking to overturn the original ban itself.

''I want to play for Pakistan as soon as possible. I was disappointed with the tribunal's decision on my appeal,'' Akhtar told mediapersons here today.

''I want a complete overturn of the ban because cricket is my livelihood. I am being prevented from playing for Pakistan,'' he added.

Akhtar's views were echoed by his lawyer Bilal Minto.

''We feel the decision of the PCB in the first place to ban him for five years was illegal and unjustified,'' Minto stated.

''We believe the fast bowler is being prevented from playing cricket for his country by an illegal decision of the board. The ban itself is very harsh. We are contesting the entire ban itself.'' UNI XC AB KP1650

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