Akhtar issues public apology

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Karachi: Climbing down from his confrontational stand against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Monday agreed to accept any disciplinary action taken by the board.

Akhtar left everyone surprised at the first regular hearing of the appellate tribunal which is hearing his appeal against the five-year ban imposed on him by PCB by agreeing to its disciplinary action.

Justice (retd.) Aftab Farrukh, who heads the tribunal, said after a nearly three-hour hearing that Akhtar had voluntarily made an unqualified public apology before the tribunal, to the nation, his team and the board. “His apology came after we heard initial arguments from his lawyer over the appeal,” Farrukh said.

Akhtar had said in his appeal that the five-year ban imposed on him earlier this month by the disciplinary committee of the board for several code of conduct violations was unjustified and vindictive.

His lawyer Abid Hasan Minto later read out a statement on behalf of Akhtar, which said, “I would like to apologise from the bottom of my heart for any grief and embarrassment I have caused with my actions and sayings to the nation, my team and the PCB, particularly its Chairman Nasim Ashraf against whom I made unsubstantiated allegations.” —PTI

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