LAHORE (INP): Batsman Khalid Latif has been banned for five years by the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) anti-corruption tribunal for his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in the Pakistan Super League.
In its verdict against the suspended opener on Wednesday, the tribunal also imposed a fine of PKR 1 million on the cricketer.
The 31-year-old, who represented Pakistan and PSL franchise Islamabad United, was found guilty of all six charges including that of persuading a few other cricketers including teammates Mohammad Irfan and Sharjeel Khan to get involved in spot-fixing, which marred the opening day of the PSL second edition held in Dubai earlier this year.
The board said Sharjeel and Latif met an alleged bookie and struck a deal. Based on the plan, Sharjeel — an aggressive batsman who scores quickly — agreed to play two dot balls after the first over in the match.
Although Latif did not play in that game, he was later charged with luring Sharjeel into the deal and not reporting the matter to the PCB anti-corruption unit.
Spot-fixing involves bets on the outcome of a particular passage of play, unlike match-fixing in which there is an attempt to prearrange the result of the match.
Latif and Sharjeel were provisionally suspended and sent home from the T20 competition in February, after an investigation by the board’s anti-corruption unit.
In August, Sharjeel was banned for five years for his role in the spot-fixing scandal. He will not be able to play domestic or international cricket for half the sentence and will be kept under observation for its duration.
The minimum punishment for the charges which Latif faced was a six-month suspension with a maximum of a life ban.
Under the PCB code, players can appeal rulings before an independent arbitrator within 14 days of the decision.
Four other players — Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Nawaz — were also included in the investigation on multiple charges.
Irfan and Nawaz admitted not reporting the bookie´s offer. Irfan was banned for one year with six months suspended and fined one million rupees. Nawaz was banned for two months, with one suspended, and fined 200,000 rupees.
Both are now free to play, while the cases against Hasan and Jamshed are continuing.
Khalid Latif’s lawyer Badar Alam, said he refuses to accept the tribunal’s verdict.
“The [tribunal] verdict has no legal value,” said Alam, adding that he will challenge the decision once the detailed verdict is out.
“The verdict is unacceptable, we will challenge it,” he reiterated.
During the case proceedings, Latif and his lawyer continued to challenge the constitutional validity of the tribunal and its appointed members. Attempts by Latif to challenge the tribunal in the Lahore High Court, however, failed more than once.