Latif receives relief on PSL2 spot-fixing punishment

PCB lawyer reveals reason behind independent adjudicator’s decision

Nabil Tahir January 31, 2018

KARACHI: An independent adjudicator on Wednesday announced a decision on the appeal made by Khalid Latif in which he requested the waiving off of the five-year ban and Rs1 million fine imposed on him.

Adjucator Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar decided the Karachi-born will serve the stipulated five-year ban. However, his fine has been waived off.

The former Islamabad United opener was punished for his part in the spot-fixing scandal during the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

The 32-year-old’s lawyer on numerous occasions criticised the Anti-Corruption Tribunal formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) during the hearing.

“The decision of the appeal of Khalid Latif was given by an independent adjudicator, Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, in which the five-year ban that was handed to the cricketer by the PCB anti-corruption tribunal has been upheld, while the fine of Rs1 million has been waived off,” PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi told The Express Tribune.

Rizvi also revealed that Latif was unable to explain his second meeting with the bookie. “The PCB was being questioned regarding the evidence they have against Latif but now it’s clear that Latif was unable to explain his second meeting with the bookie, upon which his ban was upheld,” he said.

The lawyer also discussed the reason behind the decision to remove Latif’s fine.  “The judge said that the ban will bring Latif very close to the end of his career so it alone serves as punishment enough,” he said, adding that Latif was also unable to explain the phone calls he made. “The board had overwhelming evidence against all the cricketers named and Latif was unable to give any valid explanation for them, following which his five-year ban has been upheld.”

Rizvi talked about the board’s stance against fixing and why it needs to be this strict. “It doesn’t give the PCB any pleasure to ban or punish cricketers, but in accordance with the laws and rules we have to get rid of all cricketers who are ruining this game,” he said. “The need of the hour is to make this game pure and get rid of all corrupt cricketers. Other players should now look at this as a warning and stay away from all such activities and instantly report any advances made towards them by bookies.”

‘Great decision to uphold ban’

Former chief selector Salahuddin Sallu has praised the decision to uphold Latif’s ban. “This is a very good decision, as all corrupt cricketers should be banned,” said Sallu. “Whenever a tournament or series gets a lot of hype, bookies get attracted to it. The way the PCB has tackled that should be praised. They have put all their effort into cleaning up the Pakistan Super League.”

Sallu said the fact that the fine has been waived shows that Latif was given a fair trial. “The judge was clearly unbiased, otherwise he would have not removed the ban,” he said. “Young cricketers need to learn from this and stay away from all of this.”

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