Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sohaib Akhtar to Play IPL T20

IPL Twenty20 fans are in for a delight. The Rawalpindi express, Sohaib Akhtar has been cleared by PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) to play in the IPL. The fans will get to see some real pace bowling attack by Akhtar and the Kolkata Knight Riders need his charisma disparately. after losing four matches in a row.

The 32-year-old fast bowler was suspended over claims that he had repeatedly breached the PCB's code of conduct.

Sohaib Akhtar has had his bowling action question, faced ball-tampering charges and breached a team curfew.

Before the ban was imposed, he had been serving a two-year probation for attacking team-mate Mohammad Asif with a bat before last year's World Twenty20. (Watch out Bhajji and Ganguly, here comes the "Pindi express" who attacks both with the ball and the bat)

Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar has finally been allowed to play in the second half of this year's lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.

A tribunal by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had banned him for five years, but that has now been suspended by a month awaiting a further hearing.

When Shoaib lost his appeal last Wednesday, the PCB said the ban only applied to matches under the governance of Pakistan.

But organizers of the lucrative IPL said they would also uphold the ban.

That has all changed now, after Shoaib's lawyers requested that the tribunal meet once more.

Farrukh Aftab, the head of the three-man panel, said if the player had missed out on the IPL it would have been an "additional penalty not prescribed by the disciplinary committee of the board."

The paceman had been signed to a $450,000 (euro291,111) contract by the Calcutta franchise in the IPL. The IPL Twenty20 domestic competition will finish its inaugural season on June 1.

Lalit Modi, commissioner of the IPL, said Shoaib could now play for Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Knight Riders had started strongly but have lost four matches on the trot and will hope Shoaib can add a cutting edge to their attack as they aim to secure a place in the semi-finals at the end of May.

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