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PCB defends punishments meted out to top players

March 11, 2010 19:24 IST

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ejaz Butt defended the punishments imposed on seven top players, saying strong action was needed to stamp out indiscipline in the national side.

"I am not apologetic; I think the board has taken the right decision and such strong action was urgently required to put Pakistan cricket back on the right track," Butt said on the Express television channel on Thursday.

"This problem of indiscipline and groupings in the team has been festering for a while now and we thought this was the best time to take action."

On Wednesday, the PCB imposed various bans and fines on Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal after considering the recommendations of a committee that looked at poor performances and infighting on the recent Australian tour.

"We are not worried about the consequences of our action. There is no shortage of talent in Pakistan and we want players to remember they have to give 100 percent to the country and follow the code of conduct," Butt said.

The board, after issuing two statements to clear up confusion about the bans on Wednesday, said it would not consider former captains Yousuf and Younus for national team selection for an unspecified period. It banned Malik and Rana for one year and fined them two million rupees ($23,660) each.

Afridi and Kamran were each fined three million rupees and put on six months' probation while Umar was fined two million rupees.

Pakistan lost every match of their three-Test, five One-Day and Twenty20 series in Australia.

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