The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Anti-Corruption Tribunal (ACT) held the first hearing at the National Cricket Academy on Friday. In the preliminary hearing, the formal charges were read out against suspended opening batsman Sharjeel Khan in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing case.
The hearing comprised Chairman Justice Asghar Haider, former PCB Chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia (Retd), former cricketer Wasim Bari, General Manager Legal Affairs PCB Salman Naseer, the head of PCB's Vigilance and Security Department Colonel Mohammad Azam (Retd) and PCB's legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi who was accompanied by advocate Haider Ali Khan.
The 27-year-old southpaw attended the hearing along with his advocate Shaigan Ijaz. The tribunal will be given him time till May 5 to respond to the claims, after which the PCB will file a refutation by May 10, at its own judgment.
A Pakistan Cricket Board statement read, “The counsel for PCB read out the charges levelled against Sharjeel Khan which included breaches of Articles 2.1.1; 2.1.2; 2.1.3; 2.4.4 and 2.4.5 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code for Participants 2015. The Tribunal in consultation with both parties agreed upon the procedure and timelines to be adopted under the Anti-Corruption Code. PCB shall submit its opening brief detailing its claims along with the evidence to be relied on by April 14.”
The statement further added, “This time period has been agreed in order to give the PCB ACU an opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom to interview Nasir Jamshed and meet with relevant UK authorities and determine if any of its findings are to be incorporated in the prosecution.”
“Sharjeel Khan shall be provided with an opportunity to respond by May 5 and PCB may, at its discretion, file a rebuttal by May 10. The final hearing shall commence from May 15 on a day-to-day basis.”
Khalid Latif was also provisionally suspended with Sharjeel last month but he did not attend the hearing due to the health reasons and urged for an adjournment of the hearing till next week.
However, the Chairman accepted Latif’s application and the tribunal adjourned his hearing till March 31 but they said that no further adjournments would be granted.
The statement read about that, “In the interest of justice the request is allowed and the proceedings in respect of Khalid are adjourned to 11:30 AM on March 31. The notice would also be issued with a stipulation that no further adjournment would be granted.”
There are five Pakistani players, who have been suspended in the spot-fixing case so far, which includes Sharjeel, Khalid, Nasir, Shahzaib Hasan and Mohammad Irfan.