Shoaib handed lengthy ban

Fast bowler suspended for 13 matches after bust-up

By Tony Curtis.   Last Updated: 11/10/07 1:30pm

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Shoaib: Hit Mohammed Asif with a bat

Shoaib: Hit Mohammed Asif with a bat

Sky Bet

Shoaib Akhtar's international career is on the brink of being over after the controversial pace ace was banned for 13 matches by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Shoaib was found guilty at a disciplinary hearing of hitting team-mate and fellow fast bowler Mohammed Asif with a bat during a practice session ahead of the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa in September.

Shoaib was sent home immediately after the incident in Johannesburg - and has also been fined 3.4 million rupee (£27,385).

Shafqat Naghmi, the board's chief operating officer, confirmed: "He has been banned for 13 international matches consecutively - it will start from the first Twenty20 match in South Africa."

Free

That means Shoaib has already served nine matches - seven World Twenty20 games and the two Tests against South Africa - and will be free for selection for the tour to India.

Naghmi said: "He will not be considered for the five-match one-day series against South Africa but can make himself available for selection for the Indian tour (in November),"

Naghmi also confirmed that Shoaib had been found guilty of five breaches of the PCB's code of conduct and would be under a two-year observation period - with one more run-in with the disciplinary committee earning him a life ban from the international side.

Shoaib has promised to improve on his discipline after confirming he will accept his punishment.

He said: "I am not going to appeal against the ban, I am hungry to play for Pakistan.

Nightmare

"I am just happy the nightmare is over for me and my main goal is now playing for Pakistan again.

"I have apologised to Asif and the board for the incident in South Africa.

"I have suffered enough, it was all in the heat of the moment and I'll make sure to be extra careful in the future."

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