Fixing probe: Irfan, Babar, Hasan being 'questioned' but will continue to play PSL
Pakistan Super League chairman Najam Sethi on Saturday said that certain players are being questioned but will continue to play PSL, dismissing media reports that the players are being suspended from the tournament.
In a tweet posted soon after media reports about the suspension of Mohammad Irfan, Zulfiqar Babar and Shahzaib Hassan surfaced, Sethi said, "PCB Anti-Corruption Unit has questioned Mohammad Irfan. Inquiry will continue. He does not face any immediate suspension."
He added that "PCB ACU has questioned Shahzaib Hassan and Zulfiqar Babar. They will continue to play PSL 2017."
Three days into the celebrated PSL, the names of more players surfaced in connection with corruption charges.
Dunya News, the official media partner of Islamabad United, had reported that pace bowler Mohammad Irfan is the new player who is alleged to be involved in corruption.
Irfan is a regular member of Pakistan's international squad and made his test debut against South Africa in Cape Town in 2013. He has since gone on to play 60 One Day Internationals and 20 T20 matches.
Geo News quoting sources said 10 players participating in PSL were questioned as part of the probe.
Two players, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, were sent back home mid-tournament Friday night after allegations of them being involved with a match fixing syndicate.
Geo reported that Sharjeel and Latif "entered a deal of Rs400,000- to Rs500,000 per match and that the players met bookies at a fast food restaurant near the stadium."
PCB's Anti-Corruption Code
A group of players reportedly accepted the offer from bookies, and immediate action was taken against them, Geo News reported.
The media outlet further said that a second group of players was approached by the international fixing syndicate but the group failed to notify the Anti-Corruption authorities.
PCB's Anti-Corruption Code for Participants clearly states that, "Failing or refusing to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department full details of any incident, fact, or matter that comes to the attention of a participant that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under this Anti-Corruption Code by another Participant, including (without limitation) approaches or invitations that have been received by another Participant to engage in conduct that would amount to a breach of this Anti-Corruption Code."
Sources privy to the information said that Shahzeb Hassan got a suspicious phone call from a man who allegedly asked to meet him in the hotel lobby. Mindful of the code of conduct, Hassan immediately told PCB officials about the exchange.
The sources maintain that it was on Hassan's tip-off that the action was taken.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi issued a statement following the incident saying, "We will not tolerate any form of corrupt activity and as this investigation proceeds we will not hesitate to take further decisive action as appropriate."
He added that the PSL management is working with the anti-corruption units of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and International Cricket Council (ICC) to root out corruption.
“It would not be appropriate to comment on the specifics of the case, however, this investigation is a clear demonstration of our determination to drive corruption out of our sport," Sethi had said.
“We are all absolutely committed to relentlessly pursuing anyone who would seek to damage the integrity of our sport.”
While commenting on the matter. PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan had said, “I must remind all players of their responsibilities in the fight against corruption. They must understand that if they even think they may have been the subject of a suspicious approach, it is their obligation under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code to report it to an appropriate anti-corruption official as a matter of urgency.”
While talking to the media on Saturday, regarding the allegations against his son Sharjeel Khan’s father said “Sharjeel has done nothing wrong, this [allegation] is a misunderstanding.”
“When the PCB investigates the matter further, it will see that Sharjeel is not to blame. I have full faith in God and know that he will be cleared of all charges,” he added.
Pakistan cricket was marred with corruption scandals when not long ago. In 2010 while Pakistan was touring England Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir were banned from all forms of the game for arranging deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test in return for money in a deal with an undercover reporter from News of the World.
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