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The PCB has extended Ahmed Shehzad‘s ban by six weeks after the batsman was found guilty of breaching the ruling on his four-month suspension. His original ban was supposed to end on November 10, but will now run until December 22, forcing him to miss the entirety of the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Shehzad was charged with two violations of the PCB’s anti-doping rules after he tested positive for a banned substance in July. He underwent a random dope test conducted during the Pakistan Cup domestic tournament earlier this year, and was handed a four-month ban. That barred him completely from playing any level of cricket during that period. It is that clause that he has been found in violation of on this occasion, after he played club cricket for PCB-accredited Muslim Gymkhana on multiple occasions, and even promoted his playing activity on social media.

He was subsequently issued a show-cause notice, to which he responded with an apology, citing the whole affair an error of judgment. “This is due to my only having played these games at club level, but I can assure you I would never willfully breach the rule as prescribed,” he said. “Had I been aware that this was a violation, I would never have played cricket at any level.”

The PCB dismissed his explanation, finding it unsatisfactory and called him for a personal hearing to explain himself. It was understood that he played nine games in breach of his ban, and though the games were friendlies, they were still officially played by two clubs affiliated with the PCB. They took into account that Shehzad was an experienced international cricketer, who had played over 150 international games for Pakistan, and had undergone several lectures on anti-corruption and anti-doping, and therefore should have been fully aware of what counted as a breach.

“This instant decision [to extend his ban] will serve as a constructive lesson not only to Ahmad Shahzad but to other cricketers that strict adherence to applicable rules and regulations is mandatory. A new period of ineligibility of six weeks is imposed on Ahmed Shahzad which shall commence from November 11, 2018,” the PCB said in their verdict.

Extending Shehzad’s ban, which was due to end later this week, also rules him out of any involvement in the ongoing series against New Zealand, should Pakistan have recalled him. Long viewed as one of Pakistan’s brightest batting prospects, the 26-year old has struggled to live up to his billing, and found himself drop down the pecking order in all three formats in recent years. He last played for Pakistan in the two T20Is against Scotland in July, but hasn’t played an ODI for over a year. His last Test came in the West Indies in May 2017.

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