The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has handed Sharjeel Khan a five-year ban from all forms of cricket, for his role in the spot-fixing scam which rocked the Pakistan Super League (PSL) earlier this year.
There are a total of five counts on which the once Pakistan and Islamabad United opening batsman has been found guilty according to PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code, for which he will serve the five year ban (half of which has been suspended). This means that if Khan satisfies the prerequisites set by the PCB, he will be able to resume playing cricket after two and a half years (30 months).
Asghat Haider headed the three-member tribunal which passed the judgement, and included former PCB Chairman Lt Gen Tauqir Zia and ex-Test cricketer Wasim Bari. After the decision, PCB’s legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi said, “The charges have been proven. He was given minimum punishment with no fines imposed. This decision has shown that we had strong proofs against him.” Khan accepted allegations that he played out two dot balls on purpose during the PSL.
In the days following the scandal, Khan and his fellow opening batsman Khalid Latif were placed under immediate suspension by the PCB.
Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed are also facing charges of the same nature, while Mohammad Irfan was banned for six months for failing to report the illegal approach made to them, to the PCB. While receiving a six-month ban with six months suspended, Irfan was also fined one million rupees.
While the detailed judgement on Sharjeel’s ban is expected to be released later, the ban will take effect from the day he was provisionally suspended i.e. February 10, 2017. However, Khan’s legal counsel Shegan Jiaz called the punishment ‘unjust’ and said that the decision will be appealed. “We were expecting acquittal on spot-fixing charges,” he said. “We will file an appeal on the decision. We have strong reservations against it as the onus is not on Sharjeel Khan to prove his innocence,” the Counsel added.