The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday suspended two cricketers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif on corruption charges and they were dumped from the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai.
PCB said in a statement, “Sharjeel and Latif have been suspended and the rigorous and wide-ranging investigation by the PCB supported by the International Cricket Council will continue as part of collective efforts to protect the integrity of the sport.”
It is believed that the duo had links to spot-fixing. The board said the players were suspended after an investigation into an international syndicate which is thought to be attempting to corrupt the PSL.
The Chairman of the PSL Najam Sethi told the official broadcasters, “We will not tolerate corruption from day one. We had talked to both players and we had creditable information that things were not right at the start of PSL-II.”
Sethi said last year there were no corruption issues as the PSL was the new instalment. After its success, it attracted the other gambling syndicates to Dubai. “But even as I speak they must be now backtracking. But it was inevitable after the success of the PSL it would attract such characters.”
Sharjeet, 27 was part of the Pakistan team which toured Australia and featured in a Test. He has all five one-day internationals and 13 T-20s.
Latif, 31 last year was part of Pakistan’s World T-20 squad in India. He has played five one-day internationals and 13 T-20s.
The chairman of the PCB Shaharyar Khan said the players should know the circumstances of corruption. He stated, “Under no circumstances will the PCB condone actions of a few individuals to bring disrepute to the game of cricket or taint the image of Pakistan.”
This is not the first time PCB is dealing with fixing issues. It has been suffering from spot-fixing scandals over the past several years. After an investigation in 2000, former captain Salim Malik and Ataur Rehman were banned for life.
Malik was charged with offering a bribe to Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May to underperform during their visit to Pakistan in 1995.
Again in 2010, former Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned for five years for spot-fixing. In 2012, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was banned for life in the same matter by the England and Wales Cricket Board in country cricket.