Shoaib sued by PCB
The PCB are suing banned paceman Shoaib Akhtar for allegedly making defamatory comments over his five-year ban.
Last Updated: 03/04/08 1:49pm
The Pakistan Cricket Board are suing banned paceman Shoaib Akhtar for allegedly making defamatory comments over his recent five-year ban.
After a series of disciplinary breaches, 32-year-old Shoaib's career looked to effectively be over after the PCB slapped a five-year ban on him on Tuesday following his public outburst after not getting a central contract.
Shoaib himself said he would take the PCB to court if they rejected his appeal against the five-year ban, but they have countered by saying they play to sue the 'Rawalpindi Express' for his comments.
PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf says that the board will sue Shoaib for 200 million rupees (£2.5 million) unless he apologises for his latest outburst.
"We demand immediate retraction of allegations from Akhtar in various statements which were malicious and baseless," Ashraf told AFP.
"He must apologise and pay damages of 100 million rupees to the PCB and damages of 100 million rupees to me."
Ashraf insisted that the ban had nothing to do with any personal fall-out between himself and the Pakistan paceman.
"It (the ban) is a matter between the PCB and Akhtar but the malicious, baseless and outrageous allegations he has levelled against me are mud-slinging and I will fight that myself," said Ashraf.
The board also made public a letter from their Ashraf's lawyers demanding the money for a "malicious and vile piece of defamation" allegedly made by Shoaib in a television interview.
PCB officials had previously said the ban would not affect Shoaib playing in the Indian Premier League, but IPL chairman Lalit Modi said that they would not allow him to play as long as he is banned by the IPL.
The news will be a hammer blow to Shoaib, who would have received a big windfall for appearing in the tournament.
"Shoaib has been banned from playing and until his ban is lifted he cannot play in the IPL," Modi told Reuters.
"We know his appeal against the ban is coming up for hearing. We're hoping his ban will be lifted. He is a great player and we want him to play.
"But he cannot play in IPL as long as the ban is applicable."
Shoaib has been signed up for the Kolkata team in the eight-team franchise league, promoted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and endorsed by all major national boards.