A three-man anti-corruption tribunal headed by Justice (retired) Asghar Haider has announced the verdict on Pakistan opener Sharjeel Khan’s case over spot fixing during the opening match of the Pakistan Super League.
Initial reports state that Sharjeel has been banned for 5 years after the judges found him guilty of taking bribes and fixing certain parts of a cricket game. The ban will take effect from February, when he was initially suspended.
The judgement also states that if it is found that Sharjeel Khan has shown good behaviour, the ban could be reduced to 2.5 years. This means that if the decision remains unchanged, Sharjeel could still make a comeback as soon as 2019.
Sharjeel Khan has been found guilty of five breaches of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Anti-Corruption Code.
He was suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board in February on suspicion of spot fixing in the opening match of Pakistan Super League between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi. He had allegedly played two dot balls and fixed certain parts of the game.
Analysts are expressing a mixed response over the judgement. Former cricketers state that the judgement is too harsh considering that there wasn’t much going against the opening batsman.
Others are of the view that Sharjeel should have accepted his mistakes which might have helped in reducing the sentence.
Sharjeel Khan’s lawyer, Shaigan Ijaz, has confirmed that they would be appealing against the ban.
During a press conference after the decision was announced, he said,
“We were expecting acquittal against the spot-fixing charges and we are going to appeal against them. I insist that we are not complaining against the behaviour of the tribunal members, but we are objecting to the decision. As we understand, three serious charges have not been proven. For now, we have concerns and will lodge an appeal after having a full, detailed order in the next 14 days.”
This story is under development and will be updated as more information becomes available.