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Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Saturday, 14 June 2008 13:48 UK

Shoaib ban reduced to 18 months

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib's Test career began in 1997

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's five-year ban for indiscipline has been reduced to 18 months by a Pakistan Cricket Board tribunal.

The career-threatening ban came after Shoaib, 32, publicly criticised the PCB's allocation of central contracts.

"The tribunal has taken the decision with a clear conscience and under no pressure," said tribunal head Justice Aftab Farrukh.

Shoaib was also fined around 59,000 by the tribunal.

"We also took into consideration the past record of Shoaib and that he had publicly apologised for his behaviour and past deeds," Farrukh added.

"He has promised to reform himself and we have also recommended to the board that he should be given proper counselling."

Prior to the ban's imposition, Shoaib had been serving a two-year probation for attacking team-mate Mohammad Asif.

The tribunal had temporarily lifted the ban to allow him to participate in the Indian Premier League, where he had a brief stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Despite the reduced ban, Shoaib, who has played 46 tests and 138 one-day internationals, will miss the Asia Cup and Champions Trophy.

His lawyer said the player had the right to pursue an appeal against the 18-month ban.

Shoaib's own contract had been downgraded by the PCB.

see also
Shoaib Akhtar legal case dropped
05 May 08 |  South Asia
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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