Shoaib Akhtar Ready To Play In IPL
Shoaib Akhtar has been cleared to play in the IPL after the Appellate Tribunal decided to suspend his five-year ban for one month, until they reconvene on June 4. The PCB has, in turn, granted Shoaib a No Objection Certificate to feature in the IPL, where he will play for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Lalit Modi, the chairman and commissioner of the IPL, confirmed that Shoaib will play the tournament. “We look forward to Shoaib playing for us,” Modi said. “I am going to call him immediately and invite him to come to Kolkata tonight or tomorrow morning.”Meanwhile, Shoaib expressed relief after his clearance. “This is a great relief for me as I am keen to play in the IPL,” Shoaib said. “But this is just one battle won and we still have to win the final case.”
The tribunal’s decision to grant Shoaib a temporary reprieve comes after his lawyers pressed for the suspension of his ban.
BREAKING NEWS – Shoaib Akhtar Arrives in New Delhi, will join his Team Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata.
Kolkata: Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar, cleared to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) with his ban suspended for a month by a Pakistani tribunal, reached the Capital on Monday to join the beleaguered Kolkata Knight Riders.
Akhtar, whose availability has given a boost to the Knight Riders after the team’s string of four successive losses, would be assessed for fitness on Tuesday ahead of Sourav Ganguly-led side’s game against Bangalore Royal Challengers on May 8.
However, Ganguly isn’t certain if Akhtar can be part of the playing eleven immediately.
“Well if he can pick wickets…that is what he is here for. We will have to wait and watch to see his fitness levels. Sometimes it is good to be back after a break,” Ganguly told CNN-IBN.
A three-member appellate tribunal of the Pakistan Cricket Board decided to suspend the five-year ban on Akhtar for a month, paving the way for his participation in the IPL.
Officials of Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, which owns the Knight Riders, were euphoric after receiving the news.
“We are glad and relieved that Shoaib is finally going to turn out for us. We hope he is available to play in Thursday’s match. This development has also made Shah Rukh happy,” said top Red Chillies official IS Bhandari.
Cricket Association of Bengal President Prasun Mukherjee also welcomed the development. “Shoaib’s inclusion will definitely give a boost to the team after four defeats,” he said.
Akhtar was bought by the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders for $425,000 in the players’ auction.
However, the side’s plans went awry when the PCB slapped the ban on the 32-year-old pace spearhead for his public criticism of the Board after being given a retainership instead of a contract.
The Appellate tribunal granted the temporary relief after Akhtar and his lawyers moved an urgent application on Sunday that the ban be suspended.
The tribunal had refused to stay the ban earlier this week, while allowing the fast bowler to play anywhere outside Pakistan.
But the governing council of the IPL had barred him from the tournament saying he would not be allowed until the ban is lifted.