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Cricketer's appeal starts Friday

KARACHI, April 27- A retired high court judge has summoned six Pakistan cricketers to appear before a one-man tribunal on Friday to start an appeals process against catastrophic bans and fines.The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last week appointed Irfan Qadir to hear appeals of players who were punished for discipline breaches during recent tours of Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

"I have issued notices to the players to appear on Friday for a preliminary proceeding on their appeals and they will be given all basic rights under the law," Qadir told AFP on Tuesday.

"If some of the players demand specific reasons for their punishment, we will provide them with that as well, as this is their right."

The PCB last month indefinitely banned captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf for "infighting which let the team down".

Shoaib Malik, who recently married Indian tennis star Sania Malik, and all-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were banned for one year and fined two million rupees each (24,000 dollars).

Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi was fined three million rupees (35,000 dollars) for ball-tampering in a one-day match against Australia in February and was kept under a six-month probation.

Brothers Kamran and Umar Akmal were fined three and two million rupees respectively for discipline breaches and were given six months’ probation.

Yousuf resigned in protest, but the six other players appealed.

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The PCB imposed the penalties after a committee investigated Pakistan’s dismal performance on tour of Australia from December-February when the team lost all three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international.

Qadir said lawyers could attend the preliminary proceedings if players were not available.

"If some of the players are not available they can be represented by their lawyers and we can decide whether the proceedings be held in camera or not with their consent. I am dealing with the matter with an open mind," said Qadir.

Afridi and the Akmal brothers are in Pakistan’s team for the World Twenty20 tournament, which starts in the West Indies on Friday. Malik is due to leave for India on Wednesday.

Naved is playing for Sussex in England. Younus is in Pakistan and may attend the hearing.

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