The Lahore high court has given a clean chit to Pakistan's maverick former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was fined seven million rupees and banned for five years by the PCB in 2008 for violating the players code of conduct. According to its detailed judgement the Lahore high court set aside the punishment and fine imposed by the PCB and declared it to be without lawful authority and of no legal effect.
Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza issued the detailed order on May 6 in which he ruled that the case of Akhtar was not governed by any validly promulgated rules and regulations by the PCB and therefore the remedy of writ cannot be denied to him.
Akhtar, who had a colourful career before retiring in 2011 during the World Cup, had filed a writ petition against the fine and a reduced 18 months ban after it was imposed in June 2008.
The writ petition stated that Akhtar was not governed by any central contract or laws of the PCB as his contract with them expired on Dec 31, 2007 and was never renewed. Initially the disciplinary committee of the PCB had imposed a ban of five years on the pacer in April, 2008 but this was later reduced to 18 months by an appellate tribunal. The PCB deducted the seven million rupees fine from his dues with the board.
Akhtar's counsel submitted that the punishments awarded to him were not mentioned in any rules, statute of the board or even in the central contract.
His counsel further said that Akhtar's contract had lapsed by efflux of time when the show-cause notice was served to him.
Akhtar, who ended up with 178 Test and 247 ODI wickets in a controversial career, had several run-ins with the authorities including breach of code of conduct on tours, throwing bottles into the crowd in Zimbabwe, ball tampering, use of offensive language, use of banned substances, leaving a training camp without permission and hitting teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat in South Africa.
Akhtar was also twiced banned by the ICC for having an illegal bowling action.