Shoaib Akhtar protests against victimisation
03 April, 2008
KARACHI: Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar vowed on Wednesday to seek justice in court if the country’s cricket board rejects his appeal against a five-year ban.
“I will not go down without a fight. If the board rejects my appeal I will go to the High Court and Supreme Court to get justice,” he told a news conference.
The troubled pacer was banned on Tuesday by the Pakistan Cricket Board on the recommendation of its disciplinary committee for repeated disciplinary violations.
The ban came while Shoaib, who has played 46 Tests, was already under a two-year probation from the board which has given him seven days to file an appeal.
“I will definitely be filing the appeal in the next two days and will follow the PCB procedure. I feel I have been personally victimised by the board. If I have committed any violation of discipline I should be told about it,” Shoaib said.
Some protesters had lined up outside the Islamabad press club when Shoaib arrived. Holding banners and placards in favour of the fast bowler, they lifted him on their shoulders when he came out of the conference.
Thanking the media and former Test players for their support, Shoaib, who has a history of run-ins with the cricket authorities, said the whole of Pakistan knew he had been victimised.
“I have not done anything wrong, I haven’t murdered anyone, then why such a harsh penalty?” he said.
“I am totally clueless about the reasons for this harsh ban. I think everyone is clueless about the board’s actions,” he added.
Shoaib has been banned from playing for his country or in Pakistan but the board has allowed him to play for Kolkata in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) starting this month.
“I am going to play in the IPL. That’s the only right thing to do now. And they (PCB) can’t take away that right from me. But it is sad that I have to prepare for the IPL with his unjust ban on me,” he added.