Pakistan Super League (PSL) Chairman Najam Sethi on Saturday evening said that no player, apart from Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan, would be suspended from the League provided there was no “new cause for action”.
“Failure to promptly report any attempt to corrupt and subvert PSL will be cause for action,” he said.
“Players should relax, play the game and bring joy to millions of fans at home and abroad,” he added.
Sethi’s reassurances followed a match-fixing scandal allegedly involving defending champions Islamabad United’s players Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan, which rocked the PSL on the second day of play.
DawnNews reported that a decision regarding Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan will likely be taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board within the next 15 days.
Earlier in the day, Sethi had said that three other players were also being questioned, but that they would continue to play the PSL, dismissing media reports that more players had been sent packing.
In a message on Twitter, Sethi had clarified that, “PCB Anti-Corruption Unit has questioned Mohammad Irfan. Inquiry will continue. He does not face any immediate suspension.”
He added that “PCB ACU has questioned Shahzaib Hassan and Zulfiqar Babar. They will continue to play PSL 2017.”
More names surface
Geo News, quoting sources, had earlier said 10 players participating in the PSL were questioned as part of the probe.
Geo also reported that Khan and Latif “entered a deal of Rs400,000 to Rs500,000 per match and that the players met bookies at a fast food restaurant near the stadium.”
PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code
PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code for Participants clearly states that, “Failing or refusing to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department full details of any incident, fact, or matter that comes to the attention of a participant that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under this Anti-Corruption Code by another Participant, including (without limitation) approaches or invitations that have been received by another Participant to engage in conduct that would amount to a breach of this Anti-Corruption Code.”
DawnNews reported that Shahzeb Hassan had received a suspicious phone call from a man who allegedly asked to meet him in the hotel lobby. Mindful of the code of conduct, Hassan had immediately told PCB officials about the exchange.
Sources maintained that it was Hassan’s tip-off that led to action being taken against the bookies.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi had issued a statement following the incident saying, “We will not tolerate any form of corrupt activity and as this investigation proceeds we will not hesitate to take further decisive action as appropriate.”
He added that the PSL management is working with the anti-corruption units of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and International Cricket Council (ICC) to root out corruption.
“It would not be appropriate to comment on the specifics of the case, however, this investigation is a clear demonstration of our determination to drive corruption out of our sport,” Sethi had said.
“We are all absolutely committed to relentlessly pursuing anyone who would seek to damage the integrity of our sport.”
While commenting on the matter, PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan had said, “I must remind all players of their responsibilities in the fight against corruption. They must understand that if they even think they may have been the subject of a suspicious approach, it is their obligation under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code to report it to an appropriate anti-corruption official as a matter of urgency.”
While talking to the media on Saturday, regarding the allegations against his son Sharjeel Khan’s father said “Sharjeel has done nothing wrong, this [allegation] is a misunderstanding.”
“When the PCB investigates the matter further, it will see that Sharjeel is not to blame. I have full faith in God and know that he will be cleared of all charges,” he added.