LAHORE: Cricketers Sharjeel Khan and Shahzaib Hasan, who are among the five cricketers suspended over alleged corruption during Pakistan Super League 2017, appeared before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday.
The two players were interrogated by the FIA over their alleged role in spot-fixing during the second edition of PSL.
The FIA summoned Mohammad Irfan and Khalid Latif yesterday, where it questioned the two suspended players for alleged corruption in PSL. According to sources, both the players admitted to having made contacts with bookies but denied accepting any monetary benefits from them.
Former batsman Nasir Jamshed, who was suspended by the PCB during PSL and is undergoing investigation in the case, was also scheduled to appear before the FIA but could not, as he resides in the UK.
If any of the suspended players fail to appear before the FIA, the agency is likely to announce its next plan of action for the continuing investigation, sources privy to the development stated.
Shahzaib Hasan (L) arrives with his lawyer at FIA to record his statement in Lahore on March 21, 2017 – AFP
'PCB has no authority'
Former Director-General FIA Tehseen Shah, speaking to Geo News, pointed out there is no confrontation between the PCB and FIA in the spot-fixing investigation as “the laws are very clear”.
“The Pakistan Penal code is very clear on gambling and corruption. FIA is the country’s supreme investigative agency, whatever it requires from the PCB or any other organisation, the PCB is bound to comply,” Shah elaborated.
'The PCB has no authority, it has to comply with the FIA's demands," he said.
He added that the FIA investigation into the case was started on the directive of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar.
In a parallel investigation by the PCB, a three-member Anti-Corruption Tribunal, headed by Justice (Retd) Asghar Haidar, tasked with adjudicating the spot-fixing matter has issued notices to the PCB, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif for holding the preliminary hearing on Friday.
Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan and Shahzaib Hasan have been provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket for violating the PCB’s anti-corruption code. Sharjeel and Latif, who were suspended during the opening week of the PSL for suspected links with an international fixing syndicate, face a minimum five years’ ban.
Batsman Shahzaib, who was charged and suspended last week, also faces a minimum five years' ban. Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan faces a minimum six months' ban.
Nasir Jamshed, who resides in the UK, was suspended during PSL after the PCB said it had 'concrete evidence' against the former opener. He was arrested along with another suspect by Britain's National Crime Agency last month as part of investigations but later released on bail, according to reports.
Sharjeel Khan (L) arrives with his lawyer at FIA to record his statement in Lahore on March 21, 2017 – AFP
First-class cricketer suspected of links to bookies
First-class cricketer Kamran Younis is the latest player to be suspected of having links with suspicious people, it was revealed earlier today.
Kamran Younis, along with Shahzaib Hasan and Khalid Latif, represents Port Qasim in domestic cricket. Authorities are expected to investigate the matter soon.