Newly-wed Shoaib Malik appeals against ban, fine

LAHORE: Newly-wed former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has appealed against a ban and heavy fine imposed on him by cricket authorities, barely two days before the deadline, an official said Wednesday.

"Malik''s counsel Ahmed Hussain has sent his appeal against the fine and ban and now an independent arbitrator will deal with the case," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi told a foreign news agency.

Last month the PCB imposed heavy fines and penalties on seven top players following on- and off-field problems during tours of the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Australia.

Malik, who wedded Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Monday in Hyderabad, was banned for one year and fined two million rupees (24,000 dollars) for violation of players'' code of conduct.

All-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who appealed earlier this month, was handed the same fine and punishment, while former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf were banned for an indefinite period for "infighting which let the team down". Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal were also heavily fined.

The penalties came after a month-long inquiry by a committee set up to investigate Pakistan''s dismal performance on the tour of Australia, where they lost all three Tests, five one-day matches and a Twenty20 international.

The Akmal brothers lodged appeals last week, while Afridi and Younus did so on Wednesday.

With Malik''s move, six out of the seven penalised players have appealed, leaving Yousuf the only one not to have done so. The deadline to appeal is April 16.

In protest at his treatment, Yousuf announced his retirement from international cricket last month.

The PCB last month appointed two retired Supreme Court judges -- Muneer Sheikh and Jamshed Ali Shah -- and former high court judge Irfan Qadir to deal with the appeals.

One of the judges will hear the appeals, said Rizvi.

Commenting on a demand by Younus'' lawyer that the appeal process be held in public, Rizvi said that was a decision for the arbitrator.

"Usually in-house tribunal proceedings are never held in public, but it will be up to the arbitrator to regulate the procedure, which will be decided after the deadline of the appeal."

Pakistan''s next assignment is to defend their World Twenty20 title in the West Indies, starting from April 30.

Afridi will lead the team, which also includes the Akmal brothers.