LAHORE - A civil judge Malik Muhammad Altaf Thursday lifted the life ban and fine imposed on former cricket skipper Salim Malik for alleged involvement in match fixing. "The imposition of penalty and life ban were beyond the powers of the Pakistan Cricket Board and had no legal basis," said the court's verdict. Malik is free of all charges. He is free to join cricket activities, his counsel said. Malik, 45, was banned and fined Rs. one million by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2000 on the recommendations of a one member judicial inquiry commission led by then Lahore High Court judge Justice (retd) Malik Muhammad Qayyum after a probe into allegations of match-fixing. The PCB had made a request to the federal government to inquire into match fixing after Australian players Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May alleged that Malik tried to bribe them to under-perform during a 1994 series. The government had referred the matter to LHC and then CJ appointed Malik Qayyum.   The commission had recommended a life ban for Malik and fines on other senior players including pace bowler Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul-Haq. Malik had moved the Supreme Court after a civil had declined to hear his petition on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate upon a verdict announced by an LHC judge. The SC had moved his case to the civil court in May with directions to conclude it within two months. Malik played 103 Tests and 283 one-day internationals for Pakistan and was a member of the side which won the World Cup under Imran Khan's captaincy in 1992 after beating England in the final. Malik went on to captain Pakistan from 1993 to 1995 but was one of several players implicated in the Qayyum investigation, which was initiated by the Pakistan Cricket Board. It was one of a number of investigations set up around the world following former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje's confession that he had received money from bookmakers. Cronje, who later died in a plane crash, also received a life ban, as did Malik, former Pakistan pace bowler Ata-ur-Rehman, and Indians Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma. Rehman's ban was lifted two years ago by the International Cricket Council, the game's world governing body. After the court's verdict, a happy Malik said, "It is a big day for me. I am overjoyed that finally this stigma of match fixing is gone." Meanwhile, PCB legal counsel Tafazzul Rizvi said the board would abide by the court's ruling and there is no plan to challenge it in higher courts. He said the PCB did not imposed life ban on Malik as it only implemented the recommendations made by the inquiry commission.