What’s the story?
The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought a lifetime ban for attacking opening batsmen Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif for their involvement in spot-fixing during the Pakistan Super League’s second edition which was hosted in Dubai.
PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said the board has zero tolerance towards spot-fixing and the lawyers have already given the tribunal adequate evidence about the two players’ wrongdoings.
"Yes, we are pushing the tribunal to impose a life ban on both the players. We have given enough compelling evidence against them and about their involvement in the spot-fixing case," Rizvi said.
In case you didn’t know...
The two openers were sent back to Pakistan during the second edition of the PSL after being suspended under the anti-corruption code. Charges of meeting with bookmakers were levied upon them. PCB has also suspended four other players for their involvement in spot-fixing in the PSL. These include Mohammad Irfan, who has been handed a 12-month ban, Mohammad Nawaz, whose 2-month ban is over already, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed.
The heart of the matter
The tribunal headed by a retired judge at Lahore High Court is expected to release the verdict on Sharjeel by the end of August. As for Khalid, his lawyer has been asked to submit a final written explanation by August 9. The tribunal also said that if Latif’s lawyer fails to submit a final reply by the aforementioned deadline, then it will give its verdict on the basis of the evidence available.
31-year-old Latif has played five ODIs and 13 T20s for Pakistan, while the 27-year-old Khan has featured in 25 ODIs, 15 T20s and a solitary Test.
The PCB, which is trying its best to mete out the necessary action against the two batsmen, will eagerly await the final verdict and hope that justice prevails.
Pakistan cricket, despite such incidents, has several positives to take away from the recent past. The country successfully hosted the finals of PSL 2 at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, which was a huge success. The crowd at the stadium, and all the visiting players received massive security in the war-torn nation.
More recently, the Pakistan team scripted a fairytale by winning their maiden Champions Trophy title. For a team that have come so far despite the odds being stacked against them, there should be no place for wrongdoers and the court needs to ensure that if the evidence against both the batsmen bears weight, they are barred from all forms of cricket.