Sharjeel Khan offers ‘unconditional apology’ for role in PSL spot-fixing scandal
Sharjeel Khan (AFP Photo)

Pakistan batsman Sharjeel Khan has offered an unconditional apology for breaching provisions of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Anti-Corruption Conduct. The episode dates back to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2017 during which Sharjeel was sent back home for his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal.

He was banned for five years by the PCB.

The cricket board had laid down a condition that Sharjeel will have to admit his role in the scandal before being allowed to resume his cricket career.

“I offer my unconditional apology to the Pakistan Cricket Board, my team-mates, fans and family for the irresponsible conduct that brought embarrassment to everyone. I request for forgiveness and assure I will show more responsibility in my future actions,” Sharjeel said in a statement released by the PCB on Monday.

He added, “I remind all cricketers to strictly and religiously follow the PCB Anti-Corruption Code as breaching it will only earn momentary gains but the consequences will be severe and last for rest of the career.”

The 30-year-old batsman has agreed to PCB’s rehabilitation programme saying he’ll soon return to playing club cricket. “I have agreed on the future course of action with the PCB, including helping it in its education sessions on anti-corruption. I will soon return to club cricket but will not rush into domestic cricket as I have been away for nearly 30 months and need time to reclaim my fitness and for,” he said.

The left-handed batsman has played one Test, 25 ODIs and 15 T20Is for Pakistan since making his international debut in 2013. As per the PCB, Sharjeel will attend and deliver lectures on Ant-Corruption Code, visit orphanage homes and participate in integration sessions with the Pakistan cricket team.

“It was agreed Sharjeel will complete rehabilitation, designed by the PCB’s Security and Anti-Corruption Department, before the end of the year and then reintegrate into top level cricket,” a statement from PCB read.

“The rehabilitation, among other things, will also include attending and delivering lectures on the PCB Anti-Corruption Code, visits to orphanage homes as part of social service and participating in integration sessions with the Pakistan cricket team players and player support personnel,” it added.

PCB Security and Anti-Corruption director Lt Col (R) Asif Mahmood said Sharjeel’s case should serve as a deterrent to anyone thinking of bending the rules in the future.

“We met Sharjeel today in which he showed remorse and regret for his actions. The PCB never takes pride in penalising its players, but it has a non-negotiable and zero-tolerance approach to matters relating to corruption. I hope this serves as a reminder to all those who think they can get away with violating rules as the PCB is vigilant and committed to eliminate the menace of corruption from the game,” he said.