Batsmen Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, who were suspended after reports surfaced of their alleged involvement in match-fixing in the ongoing T20 league, may face a lifetime ban from cricket, sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told Daily Express on Sunday.
According to the sources, PCB authorities have already recorded the confessional statements of both the players and will likely present a chargesheet against them on Tuesday. Under the Pakistan Anti-Corruption Code, failure to report match-fixing attempts may result in suspension for six months to life, while taking part in the offence can result in a ban for five years to life.
The sources said both Sharjeel and Khalid have been accusing each other of wrongdoing after they were sent home from Dubai, where the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is being held. Both cricketers were playing for the Islamabad United franchise.
The T20 league was rocked on Friday when reports of Sharjeel and Khalid’s alleged involvement in match-fixing emerged. Both batsmen were ‘provisionally’ suspended by the PCB and sent back to Pakistan. Sources at the time said the two players confessed to meeting bookies.
Three more players were questioned a day after although PSL and PCB Executive Committee Chairman Najam Sethi assured the board was not planning to suspend any other cricketers at the moment.
Sethi himself confirmed that left-arm fast-bowler Mohammad Irfan, left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and opening batsmen Shahzaib Hassan were brought in for questioning on Saturday as part of an ongoing probe into attempts to corrupt PSL.
Six players are thought to be involved in the PSL match-fixing scandal and players from other franchises such as Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators are also being investigated by the management.
Islamabad United – which is defending the title won its first match against Peshawar Zalmi – expressed its dismay over Sharjeel and Khalid’s alleged involvement in match-fixing. The team’s spokesperson said the franchise was following a policy of zero-tolerance against violation of guidelines and rules. He said the team would soon find replacements for the two players.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2017.