Former Pakistan international cricketer Khalid Latif will see his ban end in 2022 following five years of exile after the PSL 2017 spot-fixing scandal where Nasir Jamshed and Sharjeel Khan were also banned. However, this was not the end of controversy for the now 34-year-old Latif.
In 2018, Latif posted a video on social media placing a 3 million rupees bounty on controversial Dutchman Geert Wilders’ head should the right-wing politician be executed by any member of the public. Some activists and social media users have expressed concern for the nation's blasphemy issues but opponent activists who denounce Latif dismiss the links between these actions and Islamic scripture and argue Latif has thoroughly disgraced his country and religion.
The PCB, while allowing the returns of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Sharjeel Khan, has apparently continured to push for a life ban for Latif and it is unclear whether this incident was part of the motivation, as Latif took no active part in fixing during matches despite soliciting most of the illegal activity.
While many on social media have shown support for Latif, only regretting the money used for the bounty was likely gained through spot-fixing, the vast majority have denounced his actions and should the matter be brought to the attention of the masses or the International Cricket Council, Latif will most likely or should be banned from all cricket for life following these disgraceful actions.
This possibility many all be academic though, as Latif could already have returned to cricket in 2022 after the five-year ban was confirmed in 2018. The upholding of the ban after appeal in that year was prior to the video posted by the former batsman, seen months after the decision in January. If Latif is not thoroughly disgraced and returns to cricket, it will provide plenty of ammunition for criticism of the nation and would widely be perceived as a sad statement for the world of cricket.Published 28 Feb 2020, 23:37 IST