PCB sues Shoaib Akhtar for Rs 200 million

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sued fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for 200 million rupees (three million dollars) on Thursday for making allegedly defamatory comments after he was banned for five years.

Shoaib Akhtar was banned by the PCB on Tuesday, a move that effectively ends his career after a series of disciplinary problems culminating in a public outburst against the board for not giving him a contract.

"We demand immediate retraction of allegations from Shoaib Akhtar in various statements which were malicious and baseless,"
PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf told a foreign news agency.

"He must apologise and pay damages of 100 million rupees to the PCB and damages of 100 million rupees to me."

In a letter made public by the board, lawyers for PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf demanded the money for a "malicious and vile piece of defamation" allegedly made by Akhtar in a television interview on Wednesday.

In the interview with a private television channel, Shoaib Akhtar alleged that Nasim Ashraf had "pressurised you for and tried to extort from you" payments from Akhtar's
Indian Premier League contract, and that the five-year ban was a response to Shoaib Akhtar's alleged refusal, the letter said.

Shoaib Akhtar and several other Pakistan players have signed for the multi-billion dollar IPL, which starts from April 18.

The lawyers' letter said he should pay Nasim Ashraf 100 million rupees "for defaming him personally" and the same amount again "for sullying the name of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan cricket team."

It was further said in the letter that if Shoaib Akhtar fails to pay the damages the the Pakistan Cricket Board is authorized to take further legal action against him.

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