Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Sharjeel Khan has been banned for five years by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for his involvement in a corruption scandal during this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Sharjeel, who represented Islamabad United in the tournament, was found guilty of five major breaches of the PCB’s anti-corruption code by a three-member tribunal.
However, with two-and-a-half years of the five being suspended, Sharjeel can return to international cricket by the second half of 2019.
Despite facing a life ban and ending up with the minimum sentence, Sharjeel’s lawyer, Shaigan Ijaz, confirmed that his client will appeal against the ban.
“We were expecting acquittal against the spot-fixing charges and we are going to appeal against them,” Ijaz was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “We are not complaining against the behaviour of the tribunal members, but we are objecting to the decision.
“As we understand, those three serious charges have not been proven. For now, we have concerns and will lodge an appeal after having a full, detailed order in the next 14 days.”
Taffazul Rizvi, the PCB’s prosecutor, admitted that it was a “sad day”, but added that he was happy justice was served against a player who had tried to ruin the reputation and integrity of the sport.
“The suspended sentence isn’t defined as yet in the PCB anti-corruption code as there is a limited provision,” he said. “Just because two-and-a-half years of the sentence are suspended doesn’t mean the player can automatically be eligible to play after completing half his sentence. There is a complete process of rehabilitation, and many more conditions to be met before reintegration.”
Sharjeel’s ban comes at a time when the 28-year-old was flourishing as an opening batsman due to his aggressive and attacking style.
The Hyderabad native had become a regular face in Pakistan’s limited overs squads and also made his Test debut against Australia in January.
However, due to his disappointing decision to get involved in illegal activities during the PSL, Sharjeel will now have to pay the price and live with the consequences. With that in mind, only time will tell whether he will play for Pakistan again or whether the final chapter of his international career has already been penned.