Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar fined and suspended for 13 international matches
The Pakistan Cricket Board has suspended fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for 13 international matches for four breaches of discipline that included hitting teammate Mohammed Asif with a bat in South Africa last month.Akhtar was also fined 3.4 million rupees (C$84,510), Shafqat Naghmi, the board’s chief operating officer and chairman of the disciplinary committee, said after a hearing.
Akhtar has already sat out nine matches after missing seven World Twenty20 games in South Africa and the two home Test matches against South Africa.
He will be available for selection for the last of the five limited-overs game against South Africa later this month.
“I am not going to appeal against the ban, I am hungry to play for Pakistan,” Akhtar told reporters.
“I have suffered enough, it was all in the heat of the moment and I’ll make sure to be extra careful in the future,” he added.
Naghmi said Akhtar is one incident away from the end of his international career.
“If he is found guilty in any indiscipline act, he faces life ban,” Naghmi said.
In addition to a fine and suspension, the PCB deducted 9.5 points from Akhtar’s 20 disciplinary points that are in the players’ central contract.Akhtar was sent home after he hit Asif with the bat at a practice session in Johannesburg during the World Twenty20 event.
The other three charges against Akhtar were: missing a training camp in August and opting to play a charity match in England; giving statements against the PCB in various newspapers; and conducting an unauthorized news briefing on his return from South Africa.
Akhtar, in that news conference, said teammate Shahid Afridi made comments after a practice session and the two became embroiled in a tussle. When Asif tried to break them up, Akhtar said he accidentally struck him with his bat.
“I have already apologized to Asif, to the whole nation and the PCB, now I just want to move on and concentrate on playing cricket for Pakistan,” Akhtar said.
“I have been going through a nightmare for the last four weeks and whatever happened I just don’t want to even recall it.”
Paceman Akhtar, known as the Rawalpindi Express, has a checkered disciplinary history.
In October 2006, Akhtar and Asif were sent home from the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in neighbuoring India after both tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone. A PCB tribunal banned Akhtar for two years, while Asif was banned for a year.