An appeal by fast-rising Pakistan opener Sharjeel Khan against a five-year ban over spot-fixing was rejected this week with his lawyer on Thursday vowing to challenge the decision in a higher court.
Khan, 28, was banned for five years, two-and-a-half of them suspended, in August following an investigation by a three-member Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tribunal. The scandal surfaced during the second edition of the Pakistan Super League in February this year. The league was held in the United Arab Emirates with the final staged in Lahore.
One-man adjudicator Justice Faqir Khokhar upheld the ban late Wednesday and also rejected the PCB’s appeal to increase the punishment, which can range from five years to a life ban according to the anti-corruption code. “The decision is disappointing and we will definitely go to the high court after knowing on what grounds our appeal was rejected,” said Khan’s lawyer Shaigan Ijaz. “The PCB has not been able to prove the spot-fixing and that has halted a promising career.”
At the time of the ban, Khan had played one Test, 25 one-day internationals and 15 Twenty20s for Pakistan. He was also contracted by English county Leicestershire and was in line for getting more contracts in Twenty20 leagues around the world. Khan was charged with deliberately playing two dot balls—deliveries off which no run is scored—in his team Islamabad United’s opening match against Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai.
Spot-fixing involves determining the outcome of a specific part of a match rather than the overall result, and is therefore harder to detect than match-fixing. His fellow opener Khalid Latif was banned for five years and fined one million rupees for orchestrating the deal with a bookie.
Paceman Mohammad Irfan and spinner Mohammad Nawaz were banned for one year and two months respectively over not reporting fixing offers. Two other players—Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed—are also under investigation by the tribunal.
The latest hearing in that case was due to wrap up later Thursday.