The Pakistan senate committee on sports has decided the process for Shoaib Akhtar's appeal regarding his five-year ban should continue and that the appellate tribunal should be allowed to take its decision independently. Last week the Pakistan board had appointed a three-man tribunal, headed by a retired High Court judge, to look in to Shoaib's appeal.
Enver Ali Beg, a senate committee member, criticised the board for imposing the ban and called for a revamp of the cricket administration that handed down the punishment.
"We have analysed the charges on Shoaib and [are] criticising the PCB," said Beg after the committee meeting today. "[It] was not as big a crime that he was banned for five years.
"The committee called up officials of the PCB and Shoaib and the meeting lasted for three hours and we feel that some people have settled their scores by banning Shoaib."
Shoaib said he hoped the appellate tribunal would do justice to his appeal and that Senate committee would take up the matter in his support.
On April 1 the board banned Shoaib from playing cricket, for and in Pakistan, for violating the players' code of conduct. Shoaib filed an appeal against the ban and lashed out at the PCB saying he was being "victimised".
On one news channel he alleged that the ban was punishment in return for refusing to give the PCB chairman, Nasim Ashraf, a share of his salary from the Indian Premier League. This claim prompted Ashraf to issue a legal notice seeking damages worth US$1.6 million for defamation. Shoaib also said he had been approached by individuals to underperform during the team's tour to India and South Africa, offers which he refused.