Naved meets PCB chief, hopes for leniency

Lahore: Banned Pakistan all-rounder Rana today met with PCB chairman Ejaz Butt and expressed optimism of returning back to the national team after the board chief had assured him of a fair and transparent look into his matter.

“I am happy and satisfied with the way the meeting went, the chairman gave me a patient and sympathetic hearing and assured me he would look into my appeal against the ban and fine,” Naved told reporters after the meeting at the Gaddafi stadium here.

Naved was among the seven players banned or fined by the Pakistan Cricket Board on grounds of indiscipline and misconduct during the disastrous tour to Australia early this year.

Five of the seven players, however, have had their bans and fines overturned by an appellate tribunal appointed by the PCB and have returned to the national team.

Only former captain Younis Khan, who also had an indefinite ban removed by the appellate tribunal, and Naved are still to make a comeback to the national team.

Naved said that he was hopeful of hearing some good news soon.

“I am confident that the chairman will also look into my appeal and grant me reprieve by removing my ban, the same way he did with the other players,” he said.

“I am 32 and I am keen to play the next World Cup and I want to make a strong comeback to the team this year,” Naved added.

The all-rounder, who has played 9 Tests and 74 ODIs for Pakistan, said he had conveyed his apology to the PCB chairman for any issue on the Australian tour.

PCB legal adviser Talib Rizvi said the board chairman had the authority to pardon Naved and remove the ban.

“The appellate tribunal set up to hear the appeals of the players had advised Naved to meet with the board chairman and plead his case. This has been done and now the tribunal will give a fresh date for hearing his appeal again,” Rizvi said.

However, Rizvi refused to give any time-frame for Naved’s ban removal.

“Don’t forget every palyer’s case is different, so I don’t know how the chairman looks at Naved’s case,” he said.