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Pace ace Shoaib to appeal five-year ban

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar said on Wednesday that he would appeal against a five-year ban imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and threatened to go to court if it was not lifted.

On Tuesday, officials banned Shoaib from all domestic and international matches for repeated breaches of discipline.

Shoaib, dubbed the Rawalpindi Express for his express pace, told a news conference that the five-year ban was excessive and alleged that he had been victimized.

I have not murdered anyone that I should be given such tough punishment, he said.

Shoaib said he would file an appeal with the cricket board on Friday or Saturday. If the ban was not lifted, he said he would go to higher authorities and seek the court’s help.

The board’s chairman Nasim Ashraf on Tuesday said Shoaib was guilty of repeated indiscipline which was harming the team and had even affected the image of the country.

He said Shoaib could appeal and was still able to participate in the Indian Premier League beginning this month. However, if the ban is upheld, it would likely mean the end of the 32-year-old’s international career.

Shoaib was already on probation after the PCB fined him and imposed a 13-match international ban last year for hitting fellow bowler Mohammad Asif with a bat before the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

The board also ordered him to undergo psychiatric counseling.

Shoaib tested positive for steroids in 2006 in a PCB-conducted, out-of-competition test, but had his two-year ban overturned by an appeals committee.

At his peak, Shoaib was the fastest bowler in cricket but his 46-Test career has been restricted by injuries.

He has 178 Test wickets at an average of 25.69 and 219 wickets at 23.2 in 138 limited-overs internationals.

In other cricket news, India captain Anil Kumble is in doubt for Thursday’s second Test against South Africa as the hosts struggle with a succession of injuries.

Already without star batsman Sachin Tendulkar due to a groin injury, selectors are having to consider replacements for Kumble and paceman Ishant Sharma, who both face fitness tests.

Kumble emerged from last week’s drawn series opener in Chennai with a groin strain, while Sharma had targeted a return for this Test but is still grappling with finger and toe injuries that he suffered last month on the tour of Australia. E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Pace ace Shoaib to appeal five-year ban – found here.

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April 2, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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