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PCB bans Khalid Latif for 5 years for spot-fixing in PSL

Khalid Latif's lawyer has, however, completely rejected the verdict and said the tribunal was not authorised to take such a decision.
Reported by: PTI New Delhi September 20, 2017 16:21 IST
PTI

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has imposed a five-year ban and a fine of one million rupees on batsman Khalid Latif for his involvement in spot-fixing during the PSL. In a short order released on Wednesday, the three-member Tribunal of PCB headed by a former High Court judge Asghar Haider found Khalid guilty on all six breaches of the Cricket Board's anti-corruption code. 

It said all the penalties imposed on Khalid will run concurrently with the maximum being five years and a fine of one million rupees to be recovered by the PCB.

Khalid's lawyer Badr Alam, however, completely rejected the verdict and said the tribunal was not authorised to take such a decision. 

"We don't accept this decision and we have already filed a challenge in the Supreme Court against the tribunal," he said. 

The same tribunal had last month imposed a five-year ban on another Pakistani batsman Sharjeel Khan for similar offenses in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) played in February in Dubai. 

But while the tribunal has kept half of Sharjeel's five- year ban suspended, it didn't show any leniency on Khalid. 

Khalid and his lawyer were involved in a continuous run-in with the tribunal since the start of the hearings in April. 

The player refused to appear in some of the hearings while his lawyer had challenged the formation and authority of the tribunal in the Lahore High Court, which dismissed his objections. 

While the tribunal accepted all five charges against Sharjeel brought up by the PCB, in Khalid's case it found the batsman guilty of an additional charge of coaxing and influencing Sharjeel to meet a bookmaker and involve in spot- fixing in the PSL. 

Sharjeel and Khalid, 31, were sent back home from Dubai at the start of the PSL in February after being suspended under the PCB's anti-corruption code. 

Sharjeel's lawyer later said that his client will appeal the ban imposed on him with an independent adjudicator to be appointed by the Board. 

PCB's legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said the Board was not satisfied with the penalties imposed on Khalid and would contemplate appealing for a longer ban. 

"We stand vindicated in our fight against corruption as all six charges we had brought up against Khalid have been accepted by the tribunal. The evidence we submitted during the hearings confirmed spot-fixing," he said. 

Rizvi said PCB's legal department was still considering whether to also challenge the five-year ban imposed on Sharjeel and ask for a longer ban. 

This is not the first time Pakistan cricket has been hit by spot-fixing and match-fixing allegations. In 2010, three players including former Test captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were banned for a minimum of five-years by the ICC's anti-corruption tribunal for spot-fixing on the tour of England. 

Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban imposed on him by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for spot-fixing in country matches in 2012.