PCB 'disappointed' with Shoaib Akhtar's 'inappropriate, disrespectful' remarks regarding legal team

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Former fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar criticised PCB's legal department in a YouTube video. — Photo courtesy: Shoaib Akhtar's YouTube video
Former fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar criticised PCB's legal department in a YouTube video. — Photo courtesy: Shoaib Akhtar's YouTube video

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday said it was disappointed with Shoaib Akhtar’s "poor choice of words" regarding the sports body's legal department and its legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi.

Akhtar, while commenting on PCB's decision to ban Umar Akmal from all forms of cricket for three years, had dished criticism on the cricket board's legal department as well as Rizvi.

"Let me tell you one thing," Akhtar said in a video uploaded on the former pacer's YouTube channel on Tuesday. "PCB's legal department is extremely incapable and substandard."

Akhtar also raised questions on Rizvi's credibility as a lawyer, suggesting that the latter had advanced in his career through "contacts".

In a statement issued today, the PCB said: "The language used by Shoaib Akhtar was highly inappropriate and disrespectful, and cannot be condoned in any civilised society."

The board said that Rizvi, in a personal capacity, "has initiated defamation and criminal proceedings" against Akhtar, adding that the "PCB reserves its own rights".

In a legal notice sent to Akhtar, Rizvi highlighted legal charges and punishments awarded to the former fast-bowler throughout his career and demanded that he:

  • retracts his statements

  • tenders an unconditional apology

  • Pays Rs100 million in damages, which will be donated to Medical Centre of LHC Bar Association

  • Refrains from repeating and making further defamatory remarks against the lawyer

Separately, vice president of the Pakistan Bar Council Abid Saqi released a statement on the former fast bowler's remarks, saying that the body had "taken strong exception to [Akhtar's] defamatory statements".

Akmal banned

Akhtar's video targetted a three-year ban placed on Akmal earlier this week.

Earlier in February, PCB had suspended Akmal with immediate effect and also sidelined him from the PSL immediately barring him from playing for Quetta Gladiators.

Akmal was charged for two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB's Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents. The cricketer had not requested for a hearing before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal after he was charged.

On Monday, PCB placed a three-year ban on Akmal for breaching an anti-corruption code of the board by not reporting a fixing offer before the start of the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League.

The decision was taken by the chairman of the disciplinary panel Justice (r) Fazal-i-Miran Chauhan.

PCB Anti-Corruption and Security Director Lt Col Asif Mahmood, said: “The PCB doesn’t take any pleasure in seeing a promising international cricketer being declared ineligible for three years on corruption charges, but this is once again a timely reminder to all who think they can get away by breaching the anti-corruption code."