Khalid Latif and the PCB have both filed appeals against the five-year ban handed out to the player, with Latif’s lawyer questioning the procedure and ‘competence’ of the verdict, while the PCB seeks a stricter sentence including a longer ban.
Latif, 31, was banned by a three-man tribunal from playing any form of cricket or getting involved with the game in any capacity, in addition to being fined PKR 1 million. He was found guilty of all six charges levelled by the PCB’s anti-corruption unit after breaches of his contract in the second edition of the PSL in the UAE. He was banned for five years, the harshest punishment meted out to a player involved in the spot-fixing case yet. Sharjeel Khan was also banned for five years, but half of that was suspended. Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz were suspended for the relatively less serious indiscretions of failure to report corrupt approaches. Both have since returned to domestic cricket.
“We have filed an appeal against the competence of the verdict,” Latif’s lawyer Badar Alam told ESPNcricinfo. “They violated justice by not allowing us to cross examine the witnesses. There is no legal value of this judgement because it hasn’t fulfilled legal formalities. The case was merely based on supposition, and the PCB did not provide any solid evidence throughout. We have been raising a lot of concerns regarding procedures but the tribunal had denied us. How can you deny us an opportunity to defend ourselves? I am sure if we are heard properly and procedures are followed, this judgement will be set aside.”
Alam, who did raise several objections throughout the proceedings, did not show up to hear the verdict being announced. It was part of a pattern, with the lawyer having failed to turn up for several hearings during proceedings. He had challenged the formation of the tribunal in petitions before the Lahore High Court, but these were dismissed on both occasions. He had also been boycotting proceedings, which affected the progress of the case since it began in May and ended in September.
The PCB wasn’t content with the verdict against concerning Sharjeel and Latif – they had been pressing for the strictest punishments as both players were found guilty on all charges. “We seek the maximum sentence, as he [Latif] not only himself contrived to fix but additionally took Sharjeel Khan to meet the fixer and his accomplice,” PCB legal advisor, Taffazul Rizvi told ESPNcricinfo. “We feel the period of ineligibility should have been much greater than just five years.”
Sharjeel’s appeal hearing was adjourned till November 3. It is being heard by Justice Faqeer Khokhar, who is the adjudicator.
Khalid Latif was banned for five years for his role in the spot-fixing scandal that marred the Pakistan Super League earlier this year. Unlike the Sharjeel Khan sentence, no part of Latif’s punishment is suspended, meaning the 31-year old will be banned from the sport until 2022. He became the fourth player to be banned from all forms of cricket in connection with the PSL spot-fixing case after Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Irfan. Latif was charged by the PCB on six counts, and found guilty of all six. Like Sharjeel, he was awarded the minimum punishment.
Latif’s judgment was announced in the presence of PCB’s lawyer Taffazul Rizvi, but the player’s lawyer Badar Alam, who has made plain his dissatisfaction with several aspects of the case, was absent. Speaking to the media later, he said he ‘rejected’ the decision. ESPNcricinfo