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IPL turn down Shoaib participation

Shoaib Akhtar's week has taken a couple of savage turns for the worse today after it was confirmed that not only is he ineligible to play in the Indian Premier League but also that he is being sued for 1.6m by Dr Nasim Ashraf.

According to a statement from solicitors acting for Dr Ashraf, Shoaib claimed his five-year ban for criticising the PCB had been a consequence of his refusal to hand over money from his Indian Premier League contract to the PCB chairman.

Shoaib has been issued with a legal notice for defamation by Rizvi and Rizvi of Lahore which demands that the 32-year-old retract his statements, apologise and pay a total of 2bn Pakistani rupees to Dr Ashraf and the PCB.

Though Shoaib refused to attack the chairman during the majority of his round of TV interviews given yesterday, in one appearance on the Express News channel, he alleged that the ban was punishment in return for refusing to give the chairman a share of his salary from the IPL. Shoaib also alleged that Ashraf had tried to extort money from other Pakistani cricketers as well.

Earlier, the IPL retracted their initial statement that Akhtar would be welcome in their league despite his ban. "Unless and until Shoaib gets himself cleared from the five-year ban, he can't play," IPL chairman Lalit Modi told Indian TV channel Times Now. "We can't allow a banned player to play IPL.

If one of our players would have been banned similarly we wouldn't have liked him to play anywhere else. "

A ban on disciplinary grounds is a serious matter and until he is cleared we will give the Kolkata Knight Riders an option to replace Shoaib with another player." Kolkata chief executive Joy Bhattacharya told Times Now: "We are disappointed by the decision but it is not devastating.

"We respect the spirit of the game. We will abide by the IPL's decision." Modi had previously said Shoaib would be able to play in the IPL because the ban did not cover cricket played outside Pakistan.

source - guardian.co.uk
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