Kolkata Knight Riders team owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan said he wants the Pakistan pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar to play in Indian Premier League (IPL). He reiterated his desire for Shoaib’s presence in his team in a press conference at his residence.
Shah Rukh also said that it’s now up to BCCI to take a decision whether they want the Paksitani bolwer to play in cash-rich Indian Premier League or not.
Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s chances of playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League seemed to be receding with the tribunal to hear his appeal against five-year ban not likely to decide on the matter soon.
Given the busy schedule of the chairman of the appellate tribunal Aftab Farrukh, retired judge of Lahore High Court and now a practicing barrister, it is unlikely that the case will be decided in a hurry.
The IPL starts on April 18 and organisers have said Akhtar, who was to play for Kolkata Knight Riders, would not be eligible to play in the Twenty20 tourney until the Pakistan board removes the ban imposed on him on disciplinary grounds.
“I don’t think we are going to have a situation where the appellate tribunal will reach a decision after one or two sittings and given the busy schedules of the chairman and Salman Taseer the hearings could drag on beyond a month,” a PCB official told.
The tribunal, which had former Test player Haseeb Ahsan and former federal minister Salman Taseer as other members, was set up last week and has a minimum of seven and maximum of 30 days to reach a decision on Akhtar’s appeal.
Akhtar was handed the five-year ban for breach of the players Code of Conduct, having publicly criticised various board policies after he was overlooked for a central contract in January.
Meanwhile, PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf, Disciplinary Committee chairman Muneer Hafeez and Akhtar will appear before the Senate Standing Committee on Sports and Culture on April 14 for a hearing called to look into cricket matters and the events leading up to the ban imposed on Akhtar.