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FIA summons Shoaib Akhtar over statement against PCB

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Issuing statements against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) landed former Test cricket Shoaib Akhtar into trouble as the FIA Cybercrime Wing directed him to appear in person on June 5 (Friday).

Akhtar has been summoned on a complaint filed by the PCB after he levelled multiple accusations, including that the Board internal inquiry system wasn’t proper.

Earlier, the former fast bowler was sued by the PCB’s legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi after he launched an incredible tirade against the board and its legal adviser in the aftermath of the Umar Akmal ban. Rizvi said that he had filed an Rs10 million defamation lawsuit against former cricketer Akhtar for calling him “an inept person of low calibre” and making other serious allegations against him.

“The remarks given by Shoaib Akhtar has affected by goodwill. He said false things about me on social media. His remarks were seen and heard abroad as well. Therefore, I decided to take legal action against him,” Rizvi said.

He said that he will take action against Akhtar outside of Pakistan, too, adding that he has also “submitted a criminal complaint to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under the cybercrime act.” In a YouTube video, Akhtar accused the PCB and its legal team of giving cover to corrupt cricketers of their choice but feeding other out-of-favours ones to the lions – a practice he said has helped the menace of match-fixing entrench itself in the system.

“The board has given cover to, saved and rehabilitated match-fixers, which has developed this mindset that ‘okay I will serve my six-month or two years ban but will be back again like Sharjeel Khan’,” Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel as he pushed for formalised laws against corruption in cricket.

He explained that corrupt elements will remain in the system until it is criminalised through the parliament and the treatment of guilty cricketers is taken out of the board’s hands. Akhtar also ripped apart Rizvi, whom he described as an “inept person” for being hard on Akmal but not being able to “read a basic contract”.

“The PCB’s legal department is rotten to the core. Tafazzul Rizvi, in particular, is one such individual. He has deep connections and has been with the board for 10-15 years,” he said. “There has never been a case that he has not lost. The thing that angered me the most was when he dragged Shahid Afridi in courts. I believe that stars are born and must be respected, and these lawyers use our high-profile cases to earn fame.

He is an idiot of the highest order and has lost cases against me, Afridi, doping case … everything. What he does is that he pits PCB against its players and profits off of their legal wrangles.” Akhtar took Rizvi and company to task over their gaffe that led to Pakistan Super League matches (PSL) 2020 gambled on.

“Umar Akmal can be banned for not reporting an approach but the legal department could not see that the PCB itself was making agreements that allowed a third party to make PSL matches available for gambling,” Akhtar said.

“The legal department did not spot that. When betting is illegal here then how come PSL matches were gambled on?”

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