The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday issued a ‘notice of charge’ to Karachi Kings batsman Shahzaib Hasan for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal that marred the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) second season.
The 27-year-old, who was deemed to be in violation of Code Articles 2.1.4, 2.4.4 and 2.4.5, has been provisionally suspended from participating in all forms of cricket and has 14 days to respond to the notice. Shahzaib could face a ban ranging from six months to life, if found guilty.
The PSL was mired in a controversy in its first week when Islamabad United players Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were sent home for alleged links with bookies.
Following the suspension, former Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed — who was not even part of the PSL — was arrested in the UK. He was, however, later released on bail but suspended by the PCB for his role in the corruption scandal.
Lanky pacer Mohammad Irfan then admitted to breaching the PCB’s anti-corruption code and has since been suspended for failing to report to the PCB officials that he was being approached by a bookie during the PSL.
Some other names, including that of Shahzaib, were also mentioned at the time, but he was not officially charged.
The increasing number of players being suspended in the fixing scandal has led to calls from many quarters for the harshest of punishments to be handed down to all those involved.
Former skipper Shahid Afridi has called for imposing a lifetime ban on these players.
“Until an example is set, this issue will continue,” Afridi told the media. “When a player knows he will be forgiven and brought back into the national fold after four or five years, there isn’t any fear or deterrence.”
Legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir feels the previous lenient decisions are coming back to bite the board.
“Had you hanged Wasim Akram, Inzamamul Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed — there’s an entire list — instead of giving them a slap on the wrist, what’s happening now would’ve never happened,” he said.
“Wasim, Waqar Younis, Inzamam and Mushtaq are either all currently working or have previously worked within the PCB. Why were the recommendations of Justice Qayyum’s report not enforced?”
Former skipper Javed Miandad, on the other hand, even called for awarding death penalty to these players.
“Authorities must take measures to stop this [corruption in cricket],” said Miandad. “Why do you not take strong measures? You should give death penalty to such people. We must not tolerate such things, not at all.”