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Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Sunday, 4 May 2008 10:57 UK

Shoaib given Indian league chance

Shoaib Akhtar
The upcoming IPL stint could be Shoaib's last tournament

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.

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

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

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

But IPL organisers 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."

According to the Cricinfo website, Modi told Indian news channel CNN-IBN: "We look forward to Shoaib playing for us.

"I am going to call him immediately and invite him to come to Kolkata tonight [Sunday] or tomorrow morning."


The PCB had suspended Shoaib in April for repeated disciplinary violations and were prompted to act after he criticised the board for not handing him a central contract.

Shoaib's controversial career began at Test level against West Indies in 1997.

The "Rawalpindi Express" 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.

Shoaib was also caught up in a drug scandal after he and Asif tested positive for performance-enhancing steroid nandrolone in October 2006. They were later cleared on appeal two months later.

And in 2007, Shoaib, who has taken 169 wickets in 43 Tests, was fined for indiscipline at a national camp in Karachi.

The Knight Riders franchise signed Shoaib in February for 215,000.

They 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.

see also
Shoaib sued for PCB 'defamation'
03 Apr 08 |  Cricket
Shoaib set to fight ban in court
02 Apr 08 |  Pakistan
Shoaib given five-year suspension
01 Apr 08 |  Pakistan
Shoaib & Asif left on sidelines
30 Mar 08 |  Pakistan
No Pakistan contract for Shoaib
25 Jan 08 |  Pakistan
Shoaib banned after hitting Asif
11 Oct 07 |  Pakistan

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