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ICC referee John Reid
"There is no appeal procedure in place"
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Monday, 3 January, 2000, 12:15 GMT
Pakistan board fights Shoaib ban

Akhtar Shoaib Akhtar: "They've got to clear me . . . there's no other option."

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is to appeal against the decision to ban fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

A nine-man International Cricket Council (ICC) panel suspended Akhtar for a month after ruling last week that his bowling action was illegal.

But the PCB says the decision to ban him is racially motivated and hopes to challenge the ruling.

The appeal has already been lodged and let's hope that they reconsider
Pakistan manager Mohammad Nasir
The secretary of the PCB, Shafqat Rana, said: "It's only against the Asian cricketers.

"Why not against others? Why not against (Australian) Brett Lee, when he bowled the faster ones? Why not (retired Australian) Ian Meckiff, why not (England's) Darren Gough?"

Doubts over Akhtar's action were first raised by umpires during Pakistan's recent three-Test tour of Australia won by the home side 3-0.

His case was referred to the ICC's bowling panel who ordered him to stand down for a month until his action had been reviewed.

Surprise decision

The Pakistanis were so confident that Akhtar would be let off that they chose him for the one day series and it was not until he arrived in Australia that he was told he could not play.

The manager of the Pakistan team, Mohammad Nasir, said the PBC had already notified the ICC of its plans.

Akhtar The ICC say the decision cannot be overturned
"The appeal has already been lodged and let's hope that they reconsider," Nasir said.

"That's what we've asked that they should reconsider their decision."

Nasir said that if the decision of the ICC illegal deliveries committee was based on one or two suspect deliveries, and the committee accepted that his basic action was legal, then the ICC should agree to reconsider the ban.

But ICC referee John Reid said the suspension would stand.

"I think it's the first time that's been brought up," Reid said.

"There's no appeal (procedure) against the referee's decision, which is different from the advisory panel on deliveries but it's the same concept I would imagine."

Akhtar pleads

Akhtar said he could not understand why the ICC had waited until 31 December to make its decision after receiving footage of his action on 2 December.

"They've got to clear me . . . there's no other option," Akhtar said.

"They let me come over to Australia and after an eight-hour journey they said I can't play. They decided my future on the phone.

"My manager, my team and my coach and my skipper have backed me up."

The Australian Cricket Board has refused to comment on the issue, but Australian captain Steve Waugh said he was saddened by the ICC's decision.

"It's disappointing for the player and probably a bit disappointing for the game. Because he's such an exciting bowler," Waugh said.

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See also:
31 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Shoaib shock at 'chucking' ban
22 Dec 99 |  Cricket
ICC probe Akhtar 'chucking' claim
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.