KARACHI - Test opener Sharjeel Khan, who is serving a five-year ban for his role in a spot-fixing case, has agreed to undertake the rehabilitation programme of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Anti-Corruption code in a bid to make an early comeback.

The 29-year-old, who was suspended and sent home after the start of the Pakistan Super League in February last year, will be eligible to play cricket again in September 2019 after the expiry of his ban with half of it suspended. The left-handed opener is said to be keen to get permission from the PCB for relaxation to resume playing club and domestic cricket before the official expiry of his ban next September.

“Yes Sharjeel has notified us that he accepts the reasons for the ban imposed on him and is ready to attend the rehabilitation programme under the Anti-Corruption Code and fulfil all requirements before his ban expires late next year,” a reliable source in the PCB said. He said apparently Sharjeel had during his meeting with the PCB chairman, Ehsan Mani last month asked for pardon and also requested Mani to allow him relaxation to resume playing club and domestic cricket before the completion of his ban period.

“The PCB Chairman has the discretionary powers to allow any player banned under the anti-corruption code to resume playing club or domestic cricket before his ban expires,” the source said. He said left-arm pacer Mohammad Aamir had been given relaxation under the same discretionary powers of the chairman and that is why he resumed playing club and domestic cricket before his five-year ban for spot-fixing officially ended in late 2015.

The Anti-Corruption Tribunal of the PCB had banned Sharjeel, who has appeared in one Test, 25 ODIs and 15 T20 internationals, last year in August for five-years with half of his sentence to remain suspended.