Ashraf withdraws Akhtar lawsuit

Karachi, May 5:

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf said he had withdrawn a defamation lawsuit against Shoaib Akhtar after the banned fast bowler made a public apology.

The 32-year-old paceman was banned for five years last month for breaching the players’ code of conduct by criticising the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) when it did not offer him a central contract in January.

Ashraf and PCB sued him for $3million after Akhtar alleged the ban that the board chief had demanded payments from the bowler’s contract to play in an Indian tournament. “I have withdrawn the defamation case as my honour was vindicated after Akhtar apologised publicly,” Ashraf said. “I forgive him as it was a matter of principle,” he added, with the PCB also withdrawing its suit.

Local media said Pakistan’s prime ministerial advisor on interior affairs, Rehman Malik, brokered the deal where Ashraf forgave Akhtar.