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LAHORE: The three-member tribunal, set up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to probe the Pakistan Super League spot-fixing case, will hold its first hearing here on Friday, March 24.

The tribunal headed by retired Lahore High Court Justice Asghar Haider with former Test wicket-keeper Wasim Bari and former ex-PCB chairman Lt. Gen (retd.) Tauqir Zia as members, has summoned suspected players Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif for Friday’s hearing which will be held at the NCA at 11.30am.

Five cricketers including Sharjeel, Khalid, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed have been suspended by the PCB Anti-Corruption Unit in the PSL spot-fixing case. The ACU has already interrogated Sharjeel, Khalid, Irfan and Shahzaib before suspending them while Nasir was suspended without a hearing since he is in London where the British government has seized his passport. The ACU is to visit London to interrogate Nasir there for which visas have been applied.

All the four interrogated cricketers have denied the charges levelled against them and are contesting their cases.

A press release issued by the PCB on Monday said: “It is important to reiterate that the PCB Anti-Corruption Unit or Legal Department cannot make public any evidence or material as under the Code the proceedings are confidential.”

“The Tribunal was constituted after the two delinquent players, Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan, formally informed PCB that they seek to contest charges levelled against them. As per the prescribed procedure the Tribunal will hold the preliminary hearing where as mandated by the Code timeline of future dates of hearing will be decided.”

“Moreover, at the preliminary hearing the Tribunal in consultation with legal representatives of PCB and players will decide when the PCB is to submit an opening brief detailing the claims against the two players along with the evidence to be relied on; the date by which the players must respond/reply to the PCB’s opening brief; and the date of the final full hearing.”

It may be mentioned here that both Sharjeel and Khalid were provisionally suspended on Feb 10 under the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code as part of an investigation into alleged attempts to corrupt the 2017 Pakistan Super League (PSL). Both batsmen were sent home and summoned for a preliminary hearing soon after where they were further investigated by PCB’s legal team and the ACU.

The players were handed over a charge sheet a week after they were sent home from the PSL in UAE. They were charged for breaching various articles under Clause 2, including specific ones to attempt to corrupt a game, as well as failure to disclose suspect approaches.

The specific articles of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code both violated are: 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.4.4 and 2.4.5. In addition, Khalid Latif was charged for breaching code 2.1.4.

As per the PCB’s legal procedure, the case was only referred to the tribunal since the two players decided to contest the charges laid against them by the ACU within the stipulated 14 day period after they were charged. If the players had admitted their guilt, the matter would have been referred to the Chairman of PCB’s Disciplinary Panel who would have simply determined the imposition of sanctions on the two players.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017

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