Shahzaib, Zulfiqar cleared but Irfan still under investigation: PCB chairman

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan says show-cause notices have been sent to Sharjeel, Khalid

Sports Desk February 13, 2017
PHOTO: Malik Shafiq/ Express

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan on Monday helped clear the air about the five cricketers who were being investigated by the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) for fixing in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).

According to Shaharyar, Islamabad United duo Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif have been provisionally suspended and have returned to Pakistan. Two of the men being investigated — Shahzaib Hasan (Karachi Kings) and Zulfiqar Babar (Quetta Gladiators) — have been cleared.

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Meanwhile, pacer  Mohammad Irfan (Islamabad United) is still under investigation but hasn’t faced suspension and can represent the franchise, however, he was dropped for their last match against Lahore Qalandars.

“Shahzaib and Zulfiqar are cleared,” said Shaharyar. “However, Irfan is still under investigation.”

The octogenarian said that show-cause notices have been sent to Sharjeel and Khalid in accordance with legal procedures. “Show-cause notices have been sent to Sharjeel and Khalid so that they can submit their replies,” said Shaharyar. “However, no such notice will be served to Irfan until the investigation is completed.”

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Shaharyar said the PCB will be setting up a disciplinary tribunal once the investigation is complete to hear the players’ replies on the matter. “A senior judge will head the tribunal and will be accompanied by two or three more people,” he said.

‘PCB ACU’s vigilance appreciable’

Former Pakistan cricketers praised the PCB’s quick decision on suspension of players under investigation in the corruption scandal and Shaharyar echoed their remarks.

“The PCB gives a lot of importance to the PSL,” said Shaharyar. “The whole nation is interested in it. More than that, this edition is important because the final will be held in Pakistan. So, we will not allow anyone to taint it.”

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Shaharyar also revealed that the entire procedure will be held in-house, rather than the International Cricket Council (ICC) being involved. “The leading role in this case was of PCB’s ACU. Their initiative is appreciable and this time we will be handling everything, including the players’ punishments and the legal proceedings. In the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, the ICC and England and Wales Cricket Board took the lead and their decision was considered final. However this time around, all decisions will be taken by the PCB.”

He added: “ However, the ICC is being kept informed of all updates on the matter.”

‘Shamed Sharjeel, Khalid when I met them’

Shaharyar also shed light on his short meeting with Sharjeel and Khalid when the duo met PCB chairman on the flight back to Pakistan.

“I shamed them and asked why they would do this?” said Shaharyar. “I told them they brought disrepute to their families and Pakistan cricket. They left with long faces.”