Karachi:In a complete U-turn, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it would allow mercurial pacer Shoaib Akhtar to play in the domestic Twenty20 championship even if the dispute over the payment of a Rs seven million fine imposed on him is not settled in time for the event.
The PCB had initially told the tearaway pacer to either pay up the fine, imposed for indiscipline, or forget about playing in the championship that kicks off October 4.
But now the PCB says it would not stop the bowler as it wants to give him enough match practice before he makes a comeback to the side.
"We want Shoaib to play as do the selectors. The fine is a purely legal issue and we have told our legal counsel to seek clear directives and order from the Lahore High Court on the fine issue," PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said.
Naghmi said the board would get a clear order from the court but in meantime the fast bowler could play.
The selectors have also submitted Shoaib's name in a shortlist of 21 players to the PCB for the four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Toronto in which Pakistan takes on Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Canada from October 10 to 14.
Shoaib is currently playing county cricket in England for Surrey.
The PCB also confirmed that senior batsman Younis Khan had taken prior permission to play for South Australia in the Australian domestic season.
Younis will skip the national Twenty20 Championship and is also a doubtful starter for the Toronto tourney.