Shoaib banned for five years
Paceman's criticism of the PCB results in heavy punishment
Last Updated: 02/04/08 11:46am
Shoaib: uncertain future
Shoaib Akhtar has been banned for five years by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
"The board has lost confidence in Shoaib Akhtar and therefore felt that his presence in the field was damaging to the Pakistan team, for Pakistan players and for the image of Pakistan cricket."
PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf Quotes of the week
Akhtar, 32, was handed the sanction on Tuesday on the recommendation of the PCB's disciplinary committee after being found guilty of violating the players' code of conduct.
The fast bowler was already on two years probation after being sent home from last September's World Twenty20 following a dressing-room confrontation with team-mate Mohammad Asif.
The latest charge related to his public criticism of the PCB following their decision not to give him a central contract for 2008.
"The board has lost confidence in Shoaib Akhtar and therefore felt that his presence in the field was damaging to the Pakistan team, for Pakistan players and for the image of Pakistan cricket," PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf said.
The ban covers the national team and domestic cricket in Pakistan but Shoaib remains eligible to play in competitions outside of the PCB's jurisdiction, including English county cricket and the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
"He can't play for Pakistan or anywhere in Pakistan. But he can play in the Indian Premier League which is not in our jurisdiction," Ashraf added.
Shoaib, who was also fined 3.4 million rupees (£27,443), has vowed to fight the decision, claiming he has been left "hurt" by the suspension.
"I am deeply disappointed and hurt. I will go to court and fight against the ban," Shoaib told AFP.
"I was demoted from central contract 'A' category, which was very hurtful and as a reaction I said something. I have apologised to the PCB, before the disciplinary committee and before everyone.
"So I thought that they would take a lenient action, but this harsh decision has effectively ended my career. I still want to play for my country."
Shoaib has also been left angered by accusations that his presence was damaging to the Pakistan team.
"Ask the captain (Shoaib Malik), ask coach Geoff Lawson and they would vouch for me. I had played with high fever on the India tour (last year), which proved my commitment for the team," Shoaib added.
"I bowl fast so I am prone to injuries, but I have given my heart, soul and body to this team. I know some vested interest did not want me to be the part of the team, but I will be back."
Meanwhile, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was handed a reprimand for publicly criticising the PCB.