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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Sharjeel Khan ban vindicates our zero corruption stand: Pakistan Cricket Board

The anti-corruption tribunal banned Sharjeel Khan for five years over a spot-fixing case that has rocked the Pakistan Super League, the latest scandal to taint the sport in the cricket-crazy country.

cricket Updated: Aug 30, 2017 23:40 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Karachi
Pakistani cricketer Sharjeel Khan arrives to attend an anti-corruption tribunal meeting in Lahore on August 30.
Pakistani cricketer Sharjeel Khan arrives to attend an anti-corruption tribunal meeting in Lahore on August 30.(AFP)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today made it clear that it will not appeal against the five- year spot-fixing ban slapped on Pakistani Test batsman Sharjeel Khan by the three-member Anti-Corruption tribunal of the board.

A statement from PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi, in fact, said the Anti-Corruption Tribunal verdict is a vindication of board’s policy of zero tolerance for corrupt practices.

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“The PCB Anti-Corruption and Vigilance Department deserves great credit for identifying the culprits and nipping the spot-fixing scandal in the bud through their prompt action,” the statement said.

The ban imposed on Sharjeel, which will technically allow him to return to playing cricket before the 2019 World Cup, is not as severe as anticipated by the legal advisor of the PCB who had called for a life ban on the batsman.

Insisting that the PCB and its anti-corruption unit had submitted concrete evidence against Sharjeel and Khalid Latif for spot-fixing in the Pakistan Super League this year, the PCB Chairman said that the tribunal decision shows how serious the board is in tackling corruption.

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Sethi said in the statement that the PCB fully backed the Anti-Corruption and Vigilance Department as soon as the plot to corrupt the opening game of the Pakistan Super League 2017 season was unearthed.

“Both Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were promptly withdrawn and sent home for their questionable conduct that sullied the game besides tarnishing the spotless reputation of the PSL,” it said.

“PCB hopes that the three remaining players will be dealt with in accordance to the proportionality of their offences. The PCB will continue to fight all corrupt elements that attempt to tarnish the game both at the Domestic and International level,” the statement added.

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The tribunal has made it clear that both parties, within 14 days of the short order, could file an appeal with either an independent adjudicator of the board or with the CAS in Switzerland.

The tribunal also made it clear that half of the five- year ban on Sharjeel would be a suspended one due to mitigating circumstances and his good conduct during the proceedings of the tribunal.

Sharjeel not happy with decision to ban him

Pakistan batsman Sharjeel Khan, who was today banned for five years on spot-fixing charges, said he has reservations over the decision announced by the three-member Anti-Corruption tribunal of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

His lawyer Shaighan Ejaz told a media conference hours after the tribunal released its short order announcing the ban that Sharjeel would mull over appealing against the decision.

“Even though the ban is technically for two and half years but my client is concerned that he can’t play cricket until August 2019,” Ejaz said.

He said the tribunal decision was not as expected by them.

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“Given the proceedings of the case, we were expecting a different decision,” he said.

Ejaz said that once the full order was announced, his client would decide on filing an appeal within 14-days against his five-year ban.

PCB’s legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi hinted that the Board was also not satisfied with the decision.

“The tribunal accepted all five charges against Sharjeel but gave him the minimum possible punishment. It is also a fact that Sharjeel even after the completion of his ban will have to convince the PCB and authorities that he can be allowed back into competition,” he said.

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Sharjeel, who has played one Test, 25 ODIs and 25 T20 internationals for Pakistan, was sent back from Dubai in February with teammate Khalid Latif by the PCB after they were found violating the anti-corruption code in the Pakistan Super League.

The tribunal could hand a tougher punishment on Khalid Latif as he has, unlike Sharjeel, not accepted the authority of the tribunal through his lawyer and also challenged the formation of the tribunal twice in the Lahore High Court.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 20:54 IST

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