Najam Sethi is the head of PSL secretariat    AFP
Najam Sethi is the head of PSL secretariat AFP

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not happy with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) starting a separate investigation into the spot-fixing scandal in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). This was made apparent by a top official of the board, Najam Sethi, who also heads the PSL secretariat when he suggested that the FIA put on hold its inquiry until the PCB has completed its process to find out whether the players are guilty or not. Sethi, a former chairman of the board, also negated the impression that the PCB had asked the FIA to help them investigate the case which has led to the suspension of five Pakistan players – Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed. Except for Jamshed, who is in London, all the other players have been questioned by both the PCB anti-corruption officials and the FIA in Lahore. READ: Sarfraz Ahmed concerned about Pakistan cricket post PSL spot-fixing scam

A three-member tribunal appointed by the PCB to hear the case is due to hold its preliminary hearing on March 24 in Lahore. “PCB didn’t write any letter to FIA in which it said to start investigation or launch an inquiry against the players,” Sethi said. “If the FIA claims we asked them to help us, ask them to show the letter to this effect. It is our prerogative to hold the inquiry under the anti-corruption laws of the PCB and ICC which deals with spot-fixing. The board has defined procedures to deal with such issues,” he added.

Sethi said the PCB had only asked the FIA to help them in verifying the data, which the PCB investigators found on the mobile phones taken from the suspected players. He said the data included emails, text and whatsapp messages.

“We went (with) a letter to the FIA that we have these players’ mobile phones as evidence which we want to prove our point in front of the tribunal. If we want to put the data before the tribunal it has to be verified and only agency can do this under the law and that is the FIA. We asked them to authenticate the data,” Sethi explained.

He insisted the FIA inquiry had been ordered by federal interior minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan.

“The FIA does not need our permission to start the inquiry into anything, they do it based on media reports as the law allows this. All I am suggesting is they should hold the inquiry after we have finished our process,” he said.