Pakistan’s Malik to fight cricket ban

Pakistan’s former captain Shoaib Malik has vowed to fight against a one-year ban from cricket, saying he will lodge an appeal and try to revive his career.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on March 10 banned Malik from all forms of the game for a year and fined him $25 000 for breaching the players’ code of conduct.

Local media reported that Malik was banned for match-fixing but the PCB has not specified its reasons for the ban or the nature of his violation.

The verdict was one of a number of penalties imposed on Pakistani cricketers for a dismal performance in their recent tour of Australia.

“I will fight against the ban and go to every possible platform to prove my innocence. I want to prove my innocence as there have been no cases of indiscipline in my 11-year career,” Malik told Agence-France Presse.

“Cricket is my passion and I live for it. I love cricket and cannot think of life without it,” said Malik, who has played 29 Tests, 190 one-day and 30 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan.

The penalties were imposed on the recommendations of a committee set up to investigate the Australia tour, in which Pakistan lost all three Tests, five one-days matches and a Twenty20 international.

All-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was also banned for one year, while former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf were barred from the game for an indefinite period due to “infighting”.

Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umer Akmal were also fined heavily and put on probation for six months. The players have 30 days to appeal.

The PCB has granted Malik special permission to feature in a private Twenty20 league in Bangladesh.

He was appointed captain after Pakistan’s first round exit from the World Cup held in the West Indies in 2007, but sacked after Pakistan’s 2-1 one-day home series defeat against Sri Lanka in January last year.

Malik also led Pakistan in the two Twenty20 matches against England in Dubai last month after regular T20 captain Afridi was banned for ball-tampering in a one-day match in Australia. — AFP

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