PCB lifts 'indefinite' ban on Younis Khan, revokes Afridi's fine

     The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has lifted the indefinite ban imposed on former skipper Younis Khan besides revoking the three million rupee fine slapped on all rounder Shahid Afridi for ball tampering during the one-day series against Australia earlier this year. According to a private television channel, the PCB's appellate tribunal decided to lift the ban, which was imposed on Younis on the recommendations of an enquiry committee which was formed to probe the reasons behind Pakistan's dismal performance during the winless Australia tour in January-February. "I have set aside the ban on Younis," PCB's arbitrator Irfan Qadir told reporters here. "Today, Afridi was candid enough to accept his mistake. He did it (ball tampering) in patriotism, but it brought bad name to the country," The Dawn quoted Qadir, as saying. The tribunal has also reduced the cash fine on wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and his batsman brother Umar Akmal to a million rupee each. The removal of the ban on Younis means that he would now be available for selection for Pakistan's exhaustive 'home' tour of England. Earlier, newly appointed captain Afridi had demanded that Younis be made his deputy for the forthcoming Asia Cup and the England series. With the final 15 for the Asia Cup already being announced, it is unlikely that Younis will join the squad in Sri Lanka. However, he almost seems a certainty for the Test and one-day series against England and Australia in July-August. It is worth mentioning that Younis' counsel had ruled out any compromise with the PCB over the 'indefinite' ban. Ahmed Qayyum had said that Younis was adamant that he has done nothing wrong, so the PCB must lift the ban and also revoke the two million rupee fine. "Younis is in no mood to compromise his stance and he is not willing to accept a reduction in punishment from the PCB, as other players have done. Younis will not accept any fine at all, he is adamant that he is innocent as there is no evidence against him," Qayyum had said.

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