Karachi, September 22: Banned Pakistan batsman Sharjeel Khan and the country’s cricket board are set to battle it out on the quantum of punishment handed to the player for spot-fixing, having filed separate appeals with an independent adjudicator.
While Sharjeel has appealed against the five-year ban imposed on him, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appealed for a tougher sentence on the batsman. The tribunal, headed by a former judge of the Lahore High Court, found Sharjeel guilty on all five counts brought against him by the PCB in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing case.
But it didn’t fine the batsman and also suspended half of his five-year sentence which is counted from February, 2017 when Sharjeel and his Pakistan teammate, Khalid Latif were sent back home from Dubai.
“We are not satisfied with the ban imposed on Sharjeel and feel that since the tribunal has found him guilty of all five beaches of the anti-corruption code which we charged him with. We want a longer ban and heavy fine imposed on him,” said Tafazzul Rizvi, the legal advisor of the PCB.
Incidentally, Sharjeel’s lawyer, Shaighan Ejaz and the PCB legal advisor both filed appeals with the board around the same time on Thursday and now the PCB will appoint an independent adjudicator which will be a former judge of the Supreme Court to hold the appeal hearings.
Ejaz said their appeal was based on the fact that the PCB had provided no evidence to the tribunal under which his client could be held guilty of accepting a spot-fixing offer and doing the act. “My client does not accept the five charges. He only accepts the charge of not reporting an offer on time to the PCB,” Ejaz said.
He pointed out that the tribunal’s decision to suspend half of the minimum five-year ban on his client indicated even they were not satisfied with the case prepared by the board. “We decided to go to the independent adjudicator because even if our appeal is dismissed we have the option of going to the high court or supreme courts. If we had gone to the international Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Geneva, their verdict would have been final with no avenue to appeal further in the higher courts,” he explained.
Meanwhile Khalid Latif’s lawyer, Badr Alam claimed the PCB had victimised both players particularly his client for reasons best known to them. “The due course of law and its requirements were not followed at all in our case. In fact, we we were not even allowed to cross examine the five witnesses produced by the PCB in our absence before the tribunal.”
Alam said that his client would definitely appeal against the five-year ban and one million rupees fine imposed on him by the tribunal. “We don’t accept the authority of this tribunal which didn’t provide justice to us and we have already filed a petition in the supreme court seeking justice,” he said.