Opening batsman Sharjeel Khan was hit with a five-year ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) anti-corruption tribunal on Wednesday.
In an interim order, it was said that for next two and a half years, Sharjeel will not be allowed to any play domestic or international cricket, and for the rest of the term, the board will put him under close observation. The detailed judgment on the case will be released later.
According to sources, an appellate tribunal will be formed later, where an appeal against the order can be filed as per the PCB’s rules. For violating the five clauses, a charge sheet against the opening batsman was given on February 18. The hearing of Sharjeel’s case started on March 24 this year.
Sharjeel Khan’s Counsel, Shegan Ijaz announced that his legal team will file an appeal against the decision. “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 ban will start from Feb 10.”
Speaking to the press, PCB Legal Advisor Taffazul Rizvi said that the opening batsman is found guilty on all accounts. “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,” he said.
Sharjeel had denied involvement in relation to allegations of spot-fixing during the Pakistan Super League 2017. “I have not done anything wrong. Everything will get clear soon,” he had said when approached by journalists.
When asked to elaborate, the suspended Islamabad United player said he has been forbidden by the PCB to speak to the media.
Sharjeel, along with Islamabad United teammate Khalid Latif, was provisionally suspended by the PCB during the opening week of the PSL following an initial inquiry into an alleged attempt by an international syndicate to corrupt Pakistan’s T20 tournament.
Both the players were formally charged by the PCB over alleged spot-fixing under its anti-corruption code last Friday. They were also presented with evidence of spot-fixing, the PCB lawyer had said.