Shoaib Akhtar says he is committed to playing IPL

Mumbai, Feb.16 : Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has scotched all rumours about his joining the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), and confirmed his committment to play the Indian Premier League (IPL), which has the official sanction of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"My commitment to the IPL is total. There is a lot of talk about players joining other Twenty20 competitions, but I have signed up with the IPL and will honour that commitment. I'm so excited about the upcoming bid process and finding out which franchisee I will play for," the Dawn quoted Shoaib, as saying.

"This is an exciting week for Shoaib and all other players contracted to the IPL. We have just agreed on the players contract which Shoaib and all other players will sign in the next 48 hours. We are now waiting to find out on Wednesday which city and franchise Shoaib will be engaged with," Shoaib's agent, David Ligertwood said.

The temperamental speedster, however, reiterated that playing for Pakistan remained his foremost priority. "My absolute priority in my cricketing career has always been to take wickets for Pakistan and help my country win matches," he said.

Ironically, Shoaib has been involved in an open altercation with the PCB authorities this week after criticising them in the media over the status of the on-going Pentangular Cup and the criterion set for proving his match fitness.

Story first published: Saturday, February 16, 2008, 15:40 [IST]
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