Shoaib Akhtar has filed a writ petition in the Lahore High Court seeking to overturn the original five-year ban imposed on him by the Pakistan board that was later reduced to 18 months by an appellate tribunal.
Even though Shoaib's ban was reduced after an appeal, he wasn't happy with the tribunal's decision. "I want to play for Pakistan as soon as possible," Shoaib told PTI. "I was disappointed with the tribunal's decision on my appeal."
"We feel the decision of the PCB in the first place to ban him for five years was illegal and unjustified," Abid Hasan Minto, Shoaib's legal counsel, said. "We believe he is being prevented from playing cricket for his country by an illegal decision of the board. The ban itself is very harsh. We are contesting the entire ban."
Nasim Ashraf, the Pakistan board chairman, had said Shoaib was free to appeal in court. "That is his decision to make," Ashraf had said. "The tribunal's verdict has nothing to do with the PCB. I can't overturn the reduced ban on him. The decision made by Justice Aftab Farrukh is final and it can only be challenged in the court."
Shoaib was banned for five years in April by a disciplinary committee of the PCB for violating the players' code of conduct after he was charged with publicly criticising the board for offering him a retainership instead of a contract. The ban prevented him from playing in the IPL until it was suspended for one month which facilitated Shoaib's participation in the Twenty20 tournament.
Shoaib appealed against the five-year ban and it was reduced to 18 months along with a fine of Rs 7 million (approximately $105,000) by a PCB-appointed appellate tribunal, headed by Justice (retd) Aftab Farrukh, on June 14.