The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shoaib fined, banned for two matches

Dambulla: Shoaib Akhtar was banned Wednesday for two one-day Internationals and fined 75 per cent of his match fees for ball tampering during the tri-series match against New Zealand Tuesday.

The 27-year-old was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball (law 42.3) and breaching level 2.10 of the ICC Code of Conduct.

The verdict, announced by Match Referee Gundappa Viswanath Wednesday, means Shoaib will miss the tri-series final against New Zealand on Friday and possibly the first match against England in the NatWest one-day series next month.

“Tampering with the ball is contrary to the laws and the spirit of cricket,” said Viswanath, who called Shoaib for a disciplinary hearing Tuesday after television footage showed the bowler scratching the surface of the ball.

“It is unfair to attempt to gain any advantage by altering the condition of the ball, apart from the traditional method of polishing or drying of a wet ball,” Viswanath said.

The disciplinary hearing called Tuesday was attended by Shoaib, his captain Rashid Latif, manager Haroon Rashid besides the three umpires and the Match Referee.

“Evidence was heard from Shoaib concerning the appropriate penalty to be imposed and the player’s previous record disciplinary record was taken into account,” Viswanath said.

Shoaib was warned for ball-tampering during Pakistan’s first Test against Zimbabwe last November and later in the same away tour, he was banned for one match for throwing a bottle at the spectators.

PCB not to appeal

PCB said it will not challenge the decision of the Match Referee. “The PCB will not challenge the decision. It will also take no further disciplinary action against Shoaib as he has already been fined for the offence,” PCB said in a statement released soon after announcement of the verdict in Dambulla.

“The chief executive of the PCB (Rameez Raja) is in Dambulla and he has been instructed to brief Shoaib on the consequences of his action and what is expected of him,” it said.

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