Shahzaib    AFP
Shahzaib Hasan represented Pakistan in 2009 World T20 AFP

Karachi: Discarded batsman Shahzaib Hasan today became the fourth Pakistani player to be formally charged in the spot-fixing scandal that broke out during the Pakistan Super League in February. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already charged batsmen Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan and bowler Muhammad Irfan in the scandal that rocked the league which was held in Dubai. The charges were laid out by the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Anti-Corruption Unit and lawyers at a preliminary hearing of the Anti-Corruption Tribunal at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Shahzaib, who represented Pakistan in the 2009 World T20 Cup in England that the country won, has been charged with breaches of Articles 2.1.4; 2.4.4; and 2.4.5 of the PCB Anti- Corruption Code. Of the four cricketers charged by the Board, Irfan has been handed down a 12-month ban and a fine after admitting to not informing the authorities about approaches made to him to spot-fix matches. Shahzaib appeared before the tribunal with his lawyer Malik Kashif Rajwana.

The Tribunal has asked the PCB to submit its opening brief, detailing its claims along with the evidence against Shahzaib, on May 4. Shahzaib shall be provided an opportunity to respond by May 18 and PCB may, at its discretion, file a rebuttal by May 25. The Final Hearing shall commence from June 1 on a day-to- day basis.

Pakistan’s former Test captain Aamir Sohail has already expressed his reservations about whether the PCB has enough evidence to punish the players. He also called on Najam Sethi, a top official of the PCB, to resign if the Board fails to prove spot-fixing allegations against suspended players.

Former players and critics claim to have been surprised at the PCB anti-corruption unit’s decision to once again call Khalid Latif and Shahzaib for questioning on April 26 and 27. The decision came after the Board submitted its evidence and charges against Khalid and Sharjeel with the three-member anti-corruption tribunal.

Sharjeel’s lawyer has also termed as “insufficient”, the evidence presented against his client before the tribunal for alleged corruption.