‘PSL final in Lahore subject to govt permission’

Published February 25, 2017
LAHORE: Workers install security cameras in the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday, in preparation for the upcoming PSL final.—Online
LAHORE: Workers install security cameras in the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday, in preparation for the upcoming PSL final.—Online

ISLAMABAD: While insisting that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) remained keen on staging the Pakistan Super League (PSL) decider in Lahore, chairman Shaharyar Khan on Friday categorically stated that the final decision in this regard would rest with the government.

Speaking to reporters after attending the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC), the PCB chief said despite recent terror attacks in Lahore, the Board was eager to hold the high-profile PSL final in the provincial capital.

“But the final decision [on staging the final] will be taken by the government,” the PCB chief said amid growing uncertainty over the venue for the much-awaited PSL decider, scheduled to be staged on March 5, due to deadly terror attacks that have struck different parts of the country including Lahore.

Earlier, during the Senate body meeting, Shaharyar said the suspended duo of Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif plus pace bowler Mohammad Irfan had confessed to meeting a bookie, named Yousuf, through Nasir Jamshed.

“Actually, nowadays bookies across the world approach cricketers through their friends and family members; and same happened in Dubai where our three cricketers met a bookie through Nasir,” said the chairman.

He, however, said Irfan didn’t pay any heed to the offer from the bookie. However, the pacer too didn’t inform the PCB about their meeting, said Shaharyar.

“I think Irfan was not aware of his meeting with the bookie,” reckoned the PCB chairman, adding that Sharjeel played two dot balls after a deal with the bookie.

The PCB chairman further said that Sharjeel and Khalid had backtracked on their earlier statements about PSL spot-fixing saga.

“In their initial informal statement, they had confessed to meeting [the] bookie and their crime. However, while recording their formal statement, they changed their statements. Now this matter, after 14 days, will be referred to a tribunal,” Shaharyar said and added that after due legal proceedings, the PCB would take strict action, which could include life ban, against any cricketer if found guilty.

The Senate body meeting, chaired by Senator Mushahidullah Khan, showed their reservations for not taking concrete action against those cricketers, who were found involved in the practice of match-fixing, the Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum report.

“Chairman sahab, please look into the Justice Qayyum report,” the committee chairman said to the PCB chief.

Interestingly, despite being repeatedly asked by the chair during the meeting, Shaharyar could not give a satisfactory reply on whether the PCB itself had unearthed the ongoing PSL spot-fixing scandal or it was asked to do this by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s world governing body.

“It was liaison between the PCB and the ICC,” Shaharyar said.

However, after the Senate body meeting, the PCB chief on the matter gave a different view, telling reporters that it was the PCB, which itself had started the action.

Later on, while talking to reporters, Senator Mushahidullah regretted that no strict action was taken against those found involved in match-fixing in the past, which he said resulted in the recurrence of fixing-related activities among the country’s cricketers.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2017

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