LAHORE -  Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar M Khan has said that suspended players Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif will be formally indicted after completing legal formalities.

Talking to the reporters here outside the PCB headquarters on Thursday, Shaharyar said the two players had asked for time to speak to their families and now the time had lapsed. “Sharjeel and Latif will now give their official statements, which will be recorded on video. We have spoken to them informally and the formal talk will be held in 1 to 2 days. After this, we will give them a notice. We have to make sure that our legal process is complete because they can approach the court later,” Shahryar said.

“Our stance needs to be water-tight legally, which is why we are speaking to them informally and informing them of charges against them. They told us they wanted to speak to their families first and the time for that is over. Now they have to be formally indicted and their statement will be recorded,” he added.

Earlier, the PCB Thursday sent a notice of demand each to Sharjeel and Khalid Latif, over allegations of both being involved in the PSL spot-fixing scandal. As per the demand notice, both cricketers will be presented with the charge sheet against them. Through this notice of demand, thorough information will be collected from Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif with regard to the spot-fixing scandal that has rocked the Pakistan Super League.

The sources disclosed that the questions contained in the notice focused on everything, from players' contacts to other information. After the questions have been answered, further course of action will be decided upon by the relevant authorities.

The PCB provisionally suspended Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif and sent both the players home from Dubai where they were playing the PSL after allegations of them being involved in spot-fixing surfaced. Later, the PCB launched investigations into the matter whether an international syndicate had attempted to influence matches in the T20 championship. Both the players appeared before PCB Anti-Corruption Unit here at National Cricket Academy and presented their side of the story. The PCB chairman said that the cricketers would be given tough sentences in case crime was proven.

He added that the former cricketers’ round-table conference had now been cancelled and he would personally meet the players in their respective cities.

Shahryar said that PCB wanted to hold PSL final in Lahore and the government had been informed about the same. He also thanked Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for the support and offer for assistance.

LATIF GIVEN OPTION TO PLEAD GUILTY: In his meeting with PCB anti-corruption and legal officials, the sources claimed that Latif was given the option to plead guilty of spot-fixing. “Latif has been given the option to confess which could reduce his punishment, just like M Aamir pleaded guilty and got a reduced punishment in the 2010 spot-fixing case,” said a source in the know of proceedings.

Aamir pleaded guilty before a UK court after he, Salman Butt, the then Test captain, and M Asif, the paceman, were caught in a sting operation on Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010. While Butt and Asif pleaded innocence, Amir pleaded guilty on the advice of his veteran and experienced lawyer Gareth Pierce and was given a six-month sentence in comparison to Butt’s 32 months and Asif’s 30 months.

Aamir was also drafted into the Pakistan side before the other two, who are yet to make their international comebacks. “A similar case is that of Latif, who did meet the suspicious individual at the insistence of his long-time friend Sharjeel but did not comply with the offer,” the sources added. “Sharjeel did play the game and played two dot balls in return for money.”

 

OUR STAFF REPORTER