April 28, 2008 / 7:39 PM / 12 years ago

Cricket-Banned Shoaib says sorry at Pakistan hearing

KARACHI, April 28 (Reuters) - Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar made an unconditional apology on Monday to a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tribunal hearing his appeal against a five-year ban.

Shoaib was suspended earlier this month for repeated disciplinary violations, the most recent being his criticism of board policies when the new central contracts were announced in January.

“I would like to apologise from the bottom of my heart for any grief and embarrassment I have caused with my actions and sayings to the nation, my team and the Pakistan Cricket Board,” said the 32-year-old in a statement read out by his lawyer Abid Minto.

“I have resolved to alter my habits and to refrain from any such actions in future.”

Former high court judge Aftab Farrukh, heading the three-man tribunal, said: “His apology will be given due consideration ... and taken as a cause for leniency.”

Shoaib, suspended on six counts of indiscipline, filed his appeal earlier this month with his lawyers saying then that the ban was illegal and unconstitutional.

Editing by Rex Gowar and Tony Jimenez

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