Sharjeel Khan could face a life ban, if found guilty    AFP
Sharjeel Khan could face a life ban, if found guilty AFP

Karachi: A three-member PCB anti-corruption tribunal on Friday held its preliminary hearing in the spot-fixing case at Lahore and decided to commence the final hearing from May 15 on a day-to-day basis. Meeting for the first time, the tribunal which is headed by a former judge of the Lahore High Court heard one of the accused, Sharjeel Khan and his legal counsel but the other accused, Khalid Latif didn’t show up for the hearing. Both the Pakistani batsmen have been charged under several clauses of the anti-corruption code of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which carry a maximum punishment of a life ban. READ: Sarfraz Ahmed concerned about Pakistan cricket post PSL spot-fixing scam

“Khalid Latif, Cricketer despite notice has not entered appearance. He made an application for adjournment via email to the Chairman of the Tribunal citing health reasons and requesting that proceedings be adjourned to next week,” a press statement by the tribunal said. “In the interest of justice the request is allowed and the proceedings in respect of Khalid are adjourned to 11:30am on 31st March 2017,” it added.

The tribunal also directed the PCB lawyers to submit the opening brief detailing claims/charges against the two players along with the evidence to be relied on by 14th April. The tribunal agreed to extend the time to 14th April so that the PCB investigators and lawyers can travel to London to question one of the main accused in the spot-fixing scandal, Pakistan’s opening batsman, Nasir Jamshed who now resides in Birmingham. READ: PSL 2017 spot-fixing: Nasir Jamshed to be probed by PCB panel in UK

The PCB officials will also meet with relevant UK authorities and determine if any of its findings are to be incorporated in the prosecution of the players. Sharjeel who has been charged with breaches of clauses 2.1.1; 2.1.2; 2.1.3; 2.4.4 and 2.4.5 of the PCB ACU code will first be provided an opportunity to respond by 5th May and PCB may, at its discretion, file a rebuttal by 10th May. The Final Hearing shall commence from 15th May on a day to day basis, the statement said. READ: Shahzaib Hasan to challenge PCB’s anti-corruption charges

The PCB has suspended five players under its anti-corruption code, Sharjeel, Khalid, Muhammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir for their alleged role in the spot-fixing case that rocked the second edition of the Pakistan Super League. The tribunal which is headed by Justice Asghar Haider and includes Lt General (retd) Tauqir Zia, a former Chairman of the board, and former test captain, Wasim Bari has been formed for now to only deal with the charges laid out against Sharjeel and Khalid.