PCB counsel sends legal notice to Shoaib Akhtar

Former test cricketer says he stands by his words, will send a befitting legal reply

Hasnaat Malik May 01, 2020
Former test cricketer says he stands by his words, will send a befitting legal reply. FILE PHOTOS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) senior legal adviser Tafazul Rizvi has sent a Rs100million defamation notice to former fast bowler Shoaib Akhter who in a recent statement called into question Rizvi’s performance as the PCB counsel and described him as “incompetent”.

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, the former cricketer said he has received a legal notice.

“I have received a notice from Tafazzul Rizvi which is based on lies & fabrications. I’ve engaged Mr @SalmanKNiazi1 as my lawyer to send befitting legal reply on my behalf to said notice. I stand by my words regarding incompetence & unsatisfactory performance of Mr Rizvi,” Akhtar wrote.

Salman Niazi confirmed that he has been engaged by the former fast bowler. Niazi is a Lahore-based lawyer regarded as an expert in media and defamation laws. He is also the son-in-law of Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed.

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In his defamation notice, Tafazul Rizvi said he is the fourth generation of lawyers in his family and has handled thousands of cases. Even Akhtar contacted him for professional advice in 2000s, he claimed.

“You (Akhtar) are a former cricketer publicly known to have disciplinary issues throughout your career. You have been found indulging in indiscretions, indiscipline and unruliness.”

Rizvi also referred to a report of Pakistan cricket team’s former coach Bob Woolmer wherein he said: “You (Akhtar) have delusions of grandeur and hopelessly misplaced ego”.

Rizvi also shared details of Akhtar’s TV and social media statements against him.

He said Akhtar ranted all this because of punishments and fines awarded to him in the legal proceedings by different disciplinary committees, tribunals and courts wherein Rizvi represented the PCB.

The notice said in the year 2002 and 2003, Akhtar was suspended, and fines and bans were imposed on him for ball tampering. He was also banned in 2003 for one test and 2 one-day internationals (ODIs) for using obscene and offensive language against a South African player in Lahore test match.

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In year 2007, the PCB disciplinary committee held proceedings against Akhtar for hitting a fellow player, Muhammad Asif, and later he was awarded fine of Rs3.4 million and banned for 13 matches. He was also asked to avail attitudinal counseling for six months.

“You didn't contest the ban and also paid the fine and underwent attitudinal counseling," it said. In 2008, Akhtar tendered an apology for accusing former PCB chairman Naseem Ashraf.

“You also falsely accused my handling the Pakistan Super League (PSL) contracts and some related accusations despite being fully aware that I have never provided legal services in respect of the PSL which has been rendered by international law firm.

“All these false statements constitute a civil criminal defamation. You also need to understand that I am not part of the PCB legal department rather I am their external counsel,” said the notice.

Rizvi demanded that Akhtar retract his statements; tender an unconditional apology and admit his misstatement or pay Rs10 crore for defaming him and leveling false allegations against him.

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