LAHORE - The spot-fixing scandal that has emerged at the start of the Pakistan Super League’s second edition is getting monstrous as Pakistan Cricket Board Tuesday charged and suspended giant fast bowler M Irfan over allegations of spot-fixing.

The sources said the investigations so far has revealed that Irfan had also struck a deal with the bookies and after getting hold onto some incredible evidence the board has charged and suspended the pacer. It was also earlier reported that Irfan had struck a deal with the bookies to bowl some pre-planned bouncers but he failed to execute his plans in the match.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in furtherance to its investigation issued a Notice of Charge and provisionally suspended Irfan under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code," the body said in a statement.

"Irfan has been charged with two violations of the anti-corruption code and now has 14 days to respond to the Notice of Charge," without giving further details. He has also been provisionally suspended with immediate effect from participating in all forms of cricket," the statement added.

Irfan had appeared before PCB’s anti-corruption unit on Monday and had confessed his meeting with the bookies. There were reports that Irfan took the stance that he could not report to the unit because he was upset due to the death of his parents, who passed away one after other in a space of one year.

But the sources in the board has revealed that the left-arm pacer has not been suspended just for not reporting the bookies approach and the matter is of more grave in nature. According to sources, Irfan has initially even didn’t admit to have any meeting with bookies when he had been investigated first during the PSL in Dubai.

“Having no strong evidence at that time forced the PSL administration to let Irfan and some other suspected players carry to represent their frachise in the event.”

Taffazul Rizvi, PCB's legal advisor, also confirmed that Irfan was initially allowed to continue playing in the PSL because at that time the ACU was still collecting material against the bowler.

"Under the Anti Corruption Code under Article 4.7.1 when the integrity of the sport is seriously undermined the player can be provisionally suspended by PCB. In Dubai the Security & Vigilance Department PCB was still collecting material against Mohammad Irfan, therefore he was allowed to continue," Rizvi added.

The PSL spot-fixing saga that has so far ensnared four current and international players is far from conclusion yet as the investigation into the matter bringing more names on to the surface in the mega corruption scandal.

Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, Irfan’s fellow members of the Islamabad United team, were also provisionally suspended and charged last month over meeting a man suspected of being linked to an international betting syndicate. Though both players also claimed their innocence yet the PCB and PSL administration have time and again boasted about solid evidence against both the players.

Reportedly, Sharjeel had made a deal to play two dot balls for two million rupees while the sources say Khalid had made deal to make himself unavailable in the starting line-up for Islamabad United’s first match in the event.

Former Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed was also provisionally suspended on charges of being a "go between" in the spot-fixing incident. Jamshed and another person Yousaf were also arrested in Britain last month but were bailed until April. There also a foreigner along with Yousaf who met with the players, whose name or nationality could not come to surface yet.

The PCB has formed a three-member tribunal under retired judge Asghar Haider with former PCB chief Gen (retd) Tauqeer Zia and former chief selector and team manager Wasim Bari as its members that would formerly hold the hearings and would recommend the board for further action against the implicated players.

Shahzaib’s dilemma

The fixing saga took another interesting twist when another character of this fixing scandal Shahzaib Hasan appeared before the PCB’s ACU Tuesday and was grilled for more than four hours with members still to make any decision regarding the Karachi Kings batman’s role in the scandal.

The Unit has again summoned the batsman today (Wednesday) before deciding the future course of action in his case.

The sources say the issue with Shahzaib is quite complicated and there is a mess of everything and the ACU is trying to sort out and zero in the issue.

Shahzaib was also one of the dew players questioned in Dubai and latter were allowed to play in the event till further investigations. Initial reports and claims at that time had suggested that Shahzaib was the only player who reported the bookies’ approach to the PCB. But according to the sources, the issue is more complicated than that and his reporting to the PCB might be just an act to play smart.

They say there are evidences that suggest that Shahazaib may be the ‘patient zero’ in this whole scenario that spread the fixing virus in connivance with Jamshed in the event. But still the ACU had not reached any conclusion and the batsman would be grilled once again before being formally charged.

More names likely to surface

With investigations underway and data is being collected and examined, more names are likely to surface in the fixing-scandal.

It is likely that the PCB ACU would summon Umar Amin and Zulfiqar Babar also. The both players of Quetta Galdiators were also questioned in Dubai as well.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar was named during the league matches but stated clear later and played all the matches. The other cricketer Amin was didn’t play any of the matches.

But it is likely that this list may swell and more players’ name could make headlines in this regard as in initial investigations in Dubai, Khalid has also reportedly named some players who met with the bookies, which were other than those who have been suspected, charged or investigated so far.