PSL fixing row: PCB vows to come down hard on culprits

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb. 13 : Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has vowed to come down hard on the culprits involved in the match-fixing scandal engulfing the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Khan yesterday disclosed that a sprawling investigation is underway and a commission will be formed to slap exemplary punishments on the cricketers involved in match-fixing or spot-fixing are identified.

This comes as a provisional suspension was imposed by the PCB on cricketers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif under its Anti-Corruption Code, as part of an ongoing investigation into an international syndicate which is believed to be attempting to corrupt the ongoing PSL being played in Dubai.

"The investigation will continue as more players could be grilled as some have reported to the PCB anti-corruption unit about bookies contacting them but some haven't reported which is also a crime," the Dawn quoted Khan as saying.

"I'm not in the position at this time to give exact number of the cricketers involved but once the investigation is completed, a powerful commission will be formed to give exemplary punishments to the culprits," he added.

Khan further said that he was in constant contact with PSL chairman Najam Sethi. "At the moment, Sethi has told me that there's no further suspension in the offing and the PCB anti-corruption unit is making all out efforts to unveil the culprits," he said.

The cricket board is also at the receiving end for allowing friends and relatives of the five franchises to stay at the hotel where the teams are staying.

However, Khan informed that Sethi has held a meeting with the franchises and told them they would be responsible for the outcome of the inquiry.

"We were expecting the arrival of the bookies in Dubai [for the PSL] and made strict arrangements and before the opening match [between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi], a detailed briefing was given to both teams and officials about corrupt practices and its consequences," the PCB chief said.

Khan also fended off the criticism the board has been receiving even since allowing tainted fast bowler Mohammad Amir to return to international cricket following his five-year ban for spot-fixing.

"We followed ICC's rules and regulations in allowing Amir back but this time around, we will strictly penalize anyone caught," Khan said.

Earlier, the PSL chairman had said that no other player, apart from the duo, would be suspended from the league provided there was no "new cause for action".

"No more player suspensions are envisaged during PSL PROVIDED there is no NEW cause for action," he said on Twitter.

"Failure to promptly report any attempt to corrupt and subvert PSL will be cause for action. Media should stop speculation. Players should relax, play the game and bring joy to millions of fans at home and abroad," he added. Both Sharjeel and Latif play for defending champions Islamabad United in the fledgling PSL, the second season of which began in the UAE last Thursday.

Sharjeel, who made his Test debut against Australia in Sydney last month, has played 25 ODIs and 15 T20Is.

Latif has represented Pakistan in five ODIs and 13 T20Is..

Source: ANI