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Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 10:41 UK

Shoaib's 18-month ban suspended

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib already had his ban reduced from five years

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is free to play cricket after his 18-month ban for indiscipline was suspended by a Lahore High Court.

Shoaib, 32, lodged an appeal on Tuesday and his appeal against the ban will now be heard by the court in September.

"The court has allowed Shoaib Akhtar to play cricket and the petition will be heard after the summer vacation," said Judge Zahid Hussain.

Shoaib must still pay the 57,000 fine imposed on him in April.

"Shoaib is temporarily allowed to play until the petition is heard, but he will have to give the fine," said Pakistan Cricket Board lawyer Taffazul Rizvi.

Shoaib has now set his sights on playing in the Champions Trophy in September - and warming up for that tournament by playing English county cricket.

"I am keeping fit and I'm going to England and try to play some county or league matches there and get in shape for the Champions Trophy," he said.

"I owe my name and fame to Pakistan, so I will never defame my country. I want to win the Champions Trophy for my country and for that I need everyone's support."

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

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.

see also
Shoaib ban reduced to 18 months
14 Jun 08 |  Pakistan
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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