Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar now may play in the ongoing Indian Premier League cricket matches, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday giving him some respite decided to suspend the earlier 5-year ban till the next hearing on June 03.
This lenient approach of PCB for Shoaib has opened the door for IPL which allows him to play in the DLF IPL twenty20 matches.
Earlier the BCCI too had made it clear that if PCB allows Shoaib in Pakistan domestic circuit then he can play in IPL, which is running under ICC code of conduct with international players from various cricket boards.
Even though the rigorous 5-year ban on Akhtar for committing act of indiscipline doesn't apply on non-international cricket outside Pakistan , the BCCI had categorically denied seeking a green card from PCB.
The paceman, on Saturday, had filed an application with the tribunal seeking review of the judgement. The tribunal had earlier upheld the ban.
PCB then preferred to delay the ban by one month but from June 04 after the next hearing the ban would again come into effect, as per PCB official sources.
Meanwhile, Lalit Modi, vice president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and chief organiser of the IPL has welcomed PCB's decission and Akhtar's availability in IPL.
Shoaib had been signed to a whooping contract of $450,000 by the Kolkata Knight Riders owned by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and captained by Sourav Ganguly.
Twenty20 domestic competition will end on June 01 and PCB is to make a final verdict on Shoaib's five-year ban in the next hearing schedule on June 03.
No doubt the result is a breather not only for Akhtar but also for Kolkata Knight Riders, who after a good start in the domestic cricket league has lost four consecutive matches. Shoaib's availability would certainly add some glitter to this 20-20 version of cricket.
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