ICL: Indian Cricket League


SRK bats for Shoaib Akhtar

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Shoaib Akhtar almost got the reprieve he must be praying for on Friday when Kolkata Knight Riders’ boss Shah Rukh Khan announced he would try clearing the way for the banned fast bowler’s participation in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

But even before Shah Rukh could send a formal request to the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to allow Shoaib’s inclusion in the IPL, the league’s top boss ruled out a clearance for the controversial pacer.

Lalit Modi, IPL’s chairman, told the media that the BCCI cannot bend its rules for anybody.

“This is not an arbitrary decision, but a collective decision by the IPL governing council. Shoaib has been banned to play from matches in all forms of the game played either at the international or domestic level. This decision was taken abiding by the operational rules of the IPL. Under Section 3(A) rule number 12, the clause clearly states that any player who is under suspension by his national cricket governing authority, will not be allowed to play for the IPL until the ban is lifted. Shoaib has appealed to the PCB and post the appeal, if cleared he will play for the Knight Riders,” Modi was quoted as saying by media reports on Friday.

Modi had announced the other day that Shoaib will not be allowed to play in the IPL as he has been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Shoaib was handed a five-year ban by the PCB over indiscipline.

But SRK, who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders — the team which roped in Shoaib for the IPL — was displeased with the BCCI decision. The Bollywood super star announced that he would try finding a way out for Shoaib.

“I will talk to the BCCI about this move taken by them. I want to know the reason behind such a decision and I will try to see what best I can do,” SRK said. “Shoaib is banned from international cricket and IPL is not international. So, I don’t know why he cannot play in the league. Shoaib is very important for the team and I will talk to the officials,” he added.

But BCCI is firm on its decision with Modi saying that the only way out for Shoaib is if the PCB overturns the ban. However, Modi dispelled the impression that the BCCI has terminated Shoaib’s IPL contract.

“His (Shoaib’s) contract is still valid and has not been cancelled. He is still contracted to the IPL and through it to the Knight Riders,” Modi said.

“At the moment, his contract stands since he is in the appeal process. We hope it will be resolved at the earliest. His contract is not being cancelled presently,” he added.

It is believed that SRK is quite close to Modi and has the sort of influence to convince the IPL boss to take a positive decision over Shoaib. Kolkata bought Shoaib for US$450,000 at an IPL players’ auction this February and see him as a key player in their side which will be aiming for the title in the inaugural that kicks off from April 18.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 5th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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