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LAHORE: Tainted opener Nasir Jamshed, believed to be the prime suspect in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing case, finally presented himself for questioning to PCB’s Anti Corruption Tribunal in an on-line session from London on Monday. Meanwhile, it was also learnt that the tribunal is all set to announce its verdict in the case of dashing opener Sharjeel Khan here on Wednesday.

PCB’s lawyer Taffazul Rizvi confirmed that Nasir appeared before the tribunal through Skype and admitted that the tribunal had sent him several notices to appear before it but he could not come to Pakistan because of his grilling by England’s National Crime Agency (ENCA). Besides other charges relating to the PSL spot-fixing case, Nasir is also facing the charge of being non-cooperative with the tribunal during its proceedings held over the past few months.

Taffazul said when Nasir was asked what charges he was facing before the ENCA, the cricketer was at a loss to explain them and said he could not understand the exact charges brought up against him in the UK, mainly due to his poor understanding of English language. However, the PCB lawyer added that while Nasir did admit to having the services of an interpreter provided by the ENCA, he was not forthcoming about sharing charges framed against him in England with the PCB tribunal.

Nasir also admitted that the PCB had offered its legal team to visit London to interview him regarding the PSL fixing case but he had not agreed to it.

Taffazul further disclosed that Nasir admitted that he knew Yousaf, a UK national who has been named in the case as a bookie. “Nasir also admitted that he had indeed asked Khalid Latif, another accused cricketer in the case, to meet Yousaf,” said Taffazul. The PCB lawyer further said that Khalid, in his statement, had said that he did receive bat grips from Yousuf.

However, Nasir expressed ignorance about Yousuf’s business and also refused to disclose the name of the other person who was being interrogated by the ENCA in the fixing case, although reports from UK said that Yousuf was perhaps that other person.

September 19 has now been set as the next date for Nasir’s hearing.

Taffazul reiterated that strong evidences were available against all the cricketers involved in the PSL spot-fixing case but he could not share them with either the media or in public.

He said the cricketers would have the right to appeal against the tribunal’s verdict at anycourt in the country.

Meanwhile, Taffazul said the tribunal would announce its verdict on Sharjeel Khan by Wednesday.

Among the five cricketers accused in the case, Khalid, Nasir and Sharjeel are deemed as the main culprits while two other cricketers are Shahzaib Hasan and giant pacer Muhammad Irfan. Irfan, of course, was banned for a year after he confessed that a bookie did approach him during the PSL but he failed to report it to the PCB officials at the time.

Sharjeel is facing charges of meeting bookie Yousuf along with Khalid and of deliberately playing two dots balls in the opening match between Peshawar and Islamabad in Dubai.

According to sources, Sharjeel, now 28, may face four to seven years suspension from all types of cricket with half of the total period as suspended ban.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2017