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We had reports of spot fixing, but gave players 'benefit of the doubt': Sethi

Updated Feb 15, 2017 06:56pm


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Pakistan Super League (PSL) Chairman Najam Sethi on Wednesday said there were reports regarding possible spot-fixing in the league even before the tournament began, but said players were allowed to continue playing as authorities gave them the "benefit of the doubt".

He also said the PSL will offer franchisees the option to draft new players for the March 5 final in Lahore in case international stars opt out of playing in Pakistan.

Answering a question during Geo TV's show 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath' about the arrest of two persons in the UK in connection with the spot-fixing probe, Sethi said, "We have been exchanging the information that we have with the ICC and the action has been taken on the same basis."

He said several members of PCB's Anti-Corruption Unit are former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officers who acted "very responsibly" during the investigation. He said some players also cooperated by revealing what kind of offer was made.

Sethi said Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, the two Islamabad United players suspended during the fixing probe, "accept what they have done" and are seeking forgiveness. He said a charge-sheet would be issued in two days which would contain all the details.

When asked about PCB's reaction upon finding out that players were in touch with bookies, Sethi said it was extremely shocking when a player informed them that this kind of thing was taking place.

"We were still deciding on what action to take when we got another report that this [spot fixing] was going to be carried out in the first match [of PSL]."

We then deliberated whether to stop the activity or let it take place for it to be proven a crime, he said.

"Because it was a matter of spot-fixing and not match fixing, it wasn't right to catch someone without hearing someone out or someone actually committing the crime. Hence it was jointly decided to give [the players] benefit of the doubt."

When the players did what had been suspected, "we decided to call them and inform them that this law applies to you and you are being suspended".

The PSL chairman said they had multiple pieces of evidence to implicate the players.

“We have these players' phones in which there is more information who they were in touch with, what they talked about.”

He said if the PCB hadn't acted promptly, the crime would have taken a very "dangerous direction" in the league.

"PCB has not crushed anything with force before this. But this is changing now... we will not tolerate any type of corruption".

Fresh player draft on Feb 22

PSL will give franchisees the option to draft new players in case contracted international stars opt out of the March 5 final at Lahore due to security reasons, Sethi also said.

“On Feb 22, we will do a new draft... we will put a formula in front of all the franchises and foreign players to let us know who will play the final in Lahore and who will not come.”

International stars, including West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, Shane Watson of Australia and England's Twenty20 captain Eoin Morgan, are among 30 foreign players contracted to five teams in the PSL Twenty20 tournament, which is being staged mostly in the United Arab Emirates.

The PCB had promised to provide top-level security to the PSL finalists at Gaddafi Stadium. But a bomber targeting police negotiating with protesting pharmacists on Monday killed 13 people in Lahore, casting fresh doubt over whether foreign cricketers will risk a return to playing in Pakistan.

Sethi said he had been in contact with several foreign players who indicated they would be willing to play the final in Lahore.

“We are in touch with other foreign players so that we could replace those (contracted international) players who are not willing to play in Lahore.”

A report last month by the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) warned foreign players from traveling to Pakistan for matches.

Pakistan has not hosted any major test playing countries since 2009 when terrorists attacked a bus and police convoy taking the Sri Lanka national team to a test match at Lahore.


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Comments (31) Closed

Kamran Feb 15, 2017 03:13pm

Not taking action when it was due before the tournament

Dr Khan Feb 15, 2017 03:14pm

Naham Sethi is responsible for the whole mess. He should be sacked and an ex cricketer should be put in charge.

Adnan aziz Feb 15, 2017 03:19pm

Not "benefit of doubt" but turned a blind eye towards shady activities of these players.

Nip the evil in the bud.

Alba Feb 15, 2017 03:35pm

In Pakistan money is number 1. It trumps everything. First the guilty players claim they are innocent. Then they beg to get back into cricket.

VV Feb 15, 2017 03:53pm

If you do not nip it in the bud - then you have to deal with messy situation. Also shows that "sub kuch chalega" is the attitude. Not good.

Hyder Feb 15, 2017 03:59pm


Shahzaib Hasan has been reported as the person who reported the illegal approach to the anti corruption unit and he should be rewardee for his honesty and integrity with a central contract by the PCB.

Honesty must be rewarded handsomely and dishonesty must be dealt with iron hands to root out corruption!!!


Love Feb 15, 2017 04:11pm

Light 6 months ban and all will be free again. Good job pcb. We all are pak saf.

Shahid Feb 15, 2017 04:12pm

Why all this during PSL ? This could be done very quietly in an in-house sessions after PSL or even before PSL. You could have asked owners of the team not to pick these players in PSL and later you start all these embarrassing things. If this is intentional, which looks like, someone has to be accountable for starting this during PSL.

Khan Feb 15, 2017 04:16pm

This shows we are the champions of corruption

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Feb 15, 2017 04:31pm

Najam Sethi is the chief distroyer of Pakistan cricket.

Saqib ghumman Feb 15, 2017 04:45pm

They should have stopped them from committing the crime for sake of defacing cricket and Pakistan..

Shahid Feb 15, 2017 05:02pm

Firstly a question; Why are Nasir Jamshed, Sharjeel and Khalid still not arrested and put behind the bars? Secondly, an advice for Najam Sethi; forget about having the final Lahore, at least for now. You may succeed in convincing a few foreign players but is it worth it after multiple blasts within a day or two which show the reality of our so talked about security situation.

iffi Feb 15, 2017 05:13pm

It all starts from the top, if you got the info, why didn't you stop this mr sathi .... you wanted the world to blame Pakistan ... you are the guy who has tarnished the image of Pakistan & its players ...

Shan Feb 15, 2017 05:59pm

Very wise decision.

Imtiaz Feb 15, 2017 05:56pm

Let's ban them for life to show we mean business.

Evidently the previous 3 & 5 years ban in retrospec t were not enough.

muhammed ashraf gandhi Feb 15, 2017 06:06pm

the players should b banned for life and criminal proceedings b started agaisnst them

muhammed ashraf gandhi Feb 15, 2017 06:06pm

players b treated as criminals

Hamid KhaN Feb 15, 2017 06:17pm

Final should not take place in Lahore. Pakistan is undoubtedly most dangerous country in the world. It is worth taking the risk for anybody including Pakistani players

Joe Feb 15, 2017 06:26pm

When you let a jailed cricketer who compromise honour of country ,to come back to national team,this is bound to happen. Read views of IK,Miandad on this.

Desi Feb 15, 2017 06:28pm

You had information ahead of time and did not take any action, says a lot about your management style. Mr. Seth is a reactive person not proactive. Any competent administrator would have handled the situation as soon as he became aware of it. By letting it happen, Mr. Sethi has brought bad name to PSL and Pakistan.

Sara Feb 15, 2017 06:57pm

Waseem Akram one of tge pioneers of match fixing is sitting on the bench for Islamabad unired no wonder both of the alleged players are from waseem side. And Sharjeel was the best batsmen in their side. Bravo waseem bha

Sara Feb 15, 2017 06:57pm

No waseem no betting

Waseem Feb 15, 2017 07:08pm

@Dr Khan Aarranging PSL type event is not a skill of a cricket player but a true business man and a leader. If Sethi is not fit then cricket player is not necessarily his replacement.

syed wasim haider Feb 15, 2017 07:22pm

Bad decision of not taking preemptive measure were not taken. Can Mr.Najam Sethi tell the fans who were against of taking strong action at the right time. PCB is destroying cricket.

Irfan uK Feb 16, 2017 02:19am

Benefit of the doubt,when it comes to spot fixing no one should have been given preferential treatment. Once again this man has messed up by playing this whole fiasco on the media. Why on earth can't Pakistan just elect a democratically elected chairman like all the other test playing nations

Rashid Feb 16, 2017 02:48am

We have reports of you being mentally unstable, still allowed you to be PCB chief. Feel pitty about pakistan cricket, when a journalist with 0 cricket background has the power to do everything in cricket. Unfortunate and so desoressing.

Fanu Feb 16, 2017 08:23am

Please Sethi, go away and leave the Cricket board alone, but no one resigns here for anything. Rather, they will keep blaming others.....

Sheik chili Feb 16, 2017 09:01am

Theirs no doubt about you sir we can all see it crystal clear.

D.K. PAMNANI Feb 16, 2017 09:30am

Benefit of doubt after getting benefit from the players?

Babar Feb 16, 2017 12:37pm

Don't try to cover up your weaknesses.

Chacha chamar Feb 16, 2017 12:35pm

Benifit of cash no doubt.