PCB delays squad announcement
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has postponed the announcement of its preliminary squad for the Champions Trophy after a dispute with fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar over the payment of a fine.
Shoaib and Mohammad Asif were included by the national selectors in the preliminary squad and the list was due to be released by the PCB on Friday, the deadline set by the International Cricket Council.
"The squad will be announced by July 15 now as the board has sent a notice to Shoaib Akhtar asking him to pay the fine by July 14," a PCB spokesman told Reuters.
Shoaib was banned for five years by the board in March for various acts of indiscipline.
He appealed against the ban to an appellate tribunal which reduced it to 18 months but imposed a fine of seven million rupees ($247,600) on him.
The bowler then filed a petition to the Lahore High Court against the ban and fine last month.
The court suspended the ban but refused to clear the fine until the case is taken up for regular hearing in September.
"We have got clearance from the ICC for delaying announcement of the squad until the 15th. Shoaib's name would only be considered for selection if he clears the fine first," the spokesman said.
Abid Hasan Minto, Shoaib's legal counsel, said the board had never asked the bowler to pay the fine until now.
"Unless they tell him to pay the fine how can he move forward because the case is still under consideration of the court," he said.
Minto also said the court had not said if Shoaib did not pay the fine he cannot be considered for Pakistan duty.
A senior board official said there was no problem with the selection of Asif although he was the subject of a probe over his 19-day detention in Dubai last month for alleged possession of a banned substance.
"As far as Asif is concerned the committee will start its work once its gets the official report about the case from authorities in Dubai.
"If he is found guilty he will not be considered for the final squad," Shafqat Naghmi, the PCB's chief operating officer, told Reuters.
Asif was detained in Dubai after airport authorities found a banned substance on him. The public prosecutor of Dubai later released Asif without pressing any charges against him but has not so far disclosed the nature of the substance.
Pakistan host the Champions Trophy in September.