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Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan have filed official appeals against the punishments handed out to them by the PCB last month. That means that five of the seven players punished by the board following the tour to Australia have now lodged official appeals. Afridi lodged his appeal in the morning in person, while Younis's lawyer sent in the appeal on his behalf.

Afridi, Pakistan's captain for the World Twenty20, was fined Rs. 3 million by the board for tampering with the ball in an ODI against Australia in Perth when he was leading the side. Younis was banned for an indefinite period from playing for Pakistan, on the charge that his presence was harmful to the side.

"Shahid Afridi has lodged an official appeal against his punishment and it will now be sent to the governing board, who will then send it to one of the independent arbitrators appointed to handle this case," the PCB's legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi told Cricinfo.

Rizvi clarified that the appeal process doesn't in this case employ an appellate tribunal, but that under the PCB constitution, any such appeal goes first to the governing board who then send it to one of a list of independent arbitrators appointed by the PCB. In this case the arbitrators are two retired Supreme court judges - Muneer Sheikh and Jamshed Ali Shah - and a former high court judge, Irfan Qadir.

It is believed that Afridi has appealed on the basis that he cannot be punished twice for the same offence. After he was caught on cameras, bizarrely biting the ball in an attempt to tamper it, the ICC immediately banned him from two internationals, which meant he missed Pakistan's two subsequent T20Is. As he was captain in the Perth ODI, an inquiry committee set up to investigate Pakistan's losses in Australia decided to fine him for bringing the name of the country into disrepute.

Younis's lawyer, Mohammad Ahmed Qayyum, said he was confident that his client's appeal would be successful. "On the face of it, there is absolutely no merit to the charges they have laid against him," Qayyum told Cricinfo. "We have faxed an appeal and sent a copy by hand as well."

Qayyum said there were factual errors in the letter the board sent to Younis informing him of his punishment. "Without going into details, we have a strong case. Younis was never heard out. He was invited to the committee once, where they asked him how he could better Pakistan cricket and that was it. He was shocked to receive the letter telling him of the ban. Also, the committee was only to look at the Australia tour, on which he only went as an ODI player and not even as captain."

There had been talk of Younis taking the case to court but it is believed that he wasn't willing to engage with the board in a legal battle yet, with the option of an appeal still present. There is still a belief among both punishers and the punished that the appeals may be successful and the bans lifted, thus allowing them to return as soon as the tour to England this summer.

The Akmal brothers and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan are the others who have also filed official appeals. Kamran and Umar Akmal were fined Rs. 3 million and Rs. 2 million for incidents and statements they made leading up to the third Test in Hobart, while Rana has been banned from playing for Pakistan for a year on undisclosed charges.

Of the remaining two, Mohammad Yousuf, who received an indefinite ban has announced his retirement from the international game. Shoaib Malik, like Rana, has been banned for a year from playing for Pakistan and his appeal is also expected to be filed in the next day or so. The board has received a letter from his counsel indicating that an official appeal is on its way. Malik is currently in India where he has just married Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

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