The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday issued a charge-sheet against opener Shahzaib Hasan and suspended him over allegations of spot-fixing during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 tournament, in a case that has so far ensnared four other current or former national stars.
The widening scandal threatens to take some of the sheen off the recently-completed PSL, which was hailed as a step towards restoring international cricket in the terror-hit country after the final in Lahore passed without incident.
According to a PCB press release, Hassan has been "provisionally suspended with immediate effect from participating in all forms of cricket".
The Karachi Kings player has been granted 14 days to respond to the notice of charge.
Hasan has been charged under the following provisions of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code:
2.1.4 Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach any of the foregoing provisions of this Article 2.1.
2.4.4 Failing to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under this Anti-Corruption Code.
2.4.5 Failing or refusing to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department (without unnecessary delay) full details of any incident, fact, or matter that comes to the attention of a Participant that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under this Anti-Corruption Code by another Participant, including (without limitation) approaches or invitations that have been received by another Participant to engage in conduct that would amount to a breach of this Anti-Corruption Code.
"PCB ACU’s [anti-corruption unit] investigations into corrupt practices will continue,” said the press release.
The development in the spot-fixing scandal comes a day after the anti-corruption unit of the PCB questioned Shahzaib for three and a half hours during a hearing without being able to reach a decision whether to serve him a notice of charge.
The unit has already issued notices of charge to four cricketers — batsmen Nasir Jamshed, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif and paceman Mohammad Irfan — in the PSL spot-fixing inquiry.
Correction: This article earlier stated that Shahzaib Hassan was the fourth player to be suspended. He is, in fact, the fifth. The error is regretted.