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ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry on Monday put the names of all the suspended cricketers allegedly involved in spot-fixing on the Exit Control List (ECL).

According to a statement, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan approved the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) request of putting the names of all suspended cricketers and directed the investigation agency that action should be taken not only against the cricketers involved in spot-fixing, but bookies should also be held.

Left arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzeb Hassan, after being on the ECL, now could not leave the country as investigation is under way against them.

“After approval of the minister, today we have placed the names of cricketers on the ECL,” said a spokesman for the interior ministry. Earlier, the FIA had recommended putting the names of the cricketers on the ECL for the effective inquiry in alleged spot-fixing incident in the second edition of the PSL that tarnished the image of Pakistan in the cricketing world.

Four cricketers are in the country, but discarded Nasir Jamshed is in England facing criminal charges of making attempts to fix a PSL match, as he is accused of playing the role of a bridge between an alleged bookie Yousaf and Pakistan cricketers in Dubai during the PSL tournament.

It is said that an FIA team could visit England to investigate Nasir Jamshed. Recently, the FIA submitted its initial report to the interior minister, expressing apprehension that attempts were made to tamper with mobile messages of the accused players.

The statement said that the decision of putting the names of the accused cricketers was taken in a meeting which was presided over by the interior minister in Islamabad.

“The minister also directed the FIA to take steps to ban all those websites, which are promoting gambling in cricket,” the statement said. It said that during the meeting, FIA officials told the minister that on Monday two cricketers, Khalid Latif and Mohammad Irfan, recorded their statements while the remaining accused cricketers will record their statements on Tuesday.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017

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