Banned Rana Naved to meet PCB chief on Friday

Karachi: In a major boost to Rana Naved’s beleaguered career, PCB chairman Ejaz Butt has finally given him time and the duo will meet on Friday to discuss the all-rounder’s ban and fine.

Rana has blamed the spot-fixing scandal, involving the Pakistan cricket team during the just-concluded England tour, for the delay in his hearing and said the whole episode is affecting his comeback chances.

Rana, banned since March this year, has been trying to meet Butt for long to tell his side of the story to the Pakistan Cricket Board chief.

“Today finally I have been told that the chairman will meet me tomorrow. I am very hopeful that once I convey my side of the story to him, my ban and fine will be removed,” he said.

“I am ready to apologise to the board if they feel I did something wrong. But I am desperate to be considered for Pakistan again. I want this ban removed,” he said.

Rana was banned for a year and fined two million rupees by the PCB on the recommendations of an inquiry committee, constituted after the disastrous tour of Australia earlier this year.

Some members of the inquiry committee during the questioning suspected that the player under-performed in a Twenty20 match and an ODI in Australia for personal gains.

But Rana rubbished the charges in the video recordings of the meetings which were leaked to the media.

Rana said the period following the ban had been a difficult one for him as he remained uncertain about his future.

“At my age and stage of my career these are valuable months for me. I really missed the England tour,” he said.

The PCB had either banned or fined seven players after the Australia tour with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal being questioned about alleged links with bookmakers.

The PCB later cleared five players with the exception of Rana.

In Younis Khan’s case, despite the removal of his indefinite ban by an appellate committee, the former captain is yet to make comeback into the national side.

Rana said it was disappointing that Pakistan had lost the ODI series to England but said that the players had shown great character to fight back in the series after losing the first two matches.

“Given the controversies and the negative propaganda surrounding them the players did well to make a strong comeback,” he added.

PTI

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