PSL spot-fixing scandal: PCB evidence insufficient, says Sharjeel’s lawyer
JUMPING THE GUN: Sharjeel’s lawyer requested the media to reserve their verdict until the players is proven guilty. PHOTO: AFP
Left-handed batsman Shareel Khan’s lawyer said on Friday the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), contesting charges against the Islamabad United player for his involvement in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing scandal, presented ‘insufficient’ evidence against his client.
PCB submitted its opening brief against Sharjeel to the three-member Anti-Corruption Tribunal (ACT) which is listening to the case.
Taffazul Rizvi and Haider Ali Khan, advocates for PCB, presented “amongst other material, witness statements, recorded interviews, match footage, and copies of certain WhatsApp voice messages” to the ACT.
A copy of the opening brief along with all the material was provided to Sharjeel and his lawyer Shaigan Ijaz and the latter told ESPNcricinfo that the evidence will be assessed in detail but seem insufficient by the looks of it.
“They have presented the evidences to the tribunal that contain statements of witnesses and some recording of interviews they had done during the investigations,” said Sharjeel’s counsel. We will assess the evidence in detail but we understand that these are insufficient.”
The counsel added that the media should refrain from calling Sharjeel guilty because he hasn’t been convicted yet. “I want to insist to my media friends that everybody is innocent until and unless they are proven guilty. Sharjeel Khan is our national asset and our national team player. Until the matter is in proceeding and until things are not proved, he is innocent.”
Sharjeel will be required to present an answering brief to the tribunal on May 5.
Sharjeel and his Islamabad United batting partner Khalid Latif have been charged with breach of PCB’s anti-corruption code, following the outfits’ first game against Peshawar Zalmi during the second edition of the PSL, whereby they were provisionally suspended with immediate effect and sent back to Pakistan.
Khalid also appeared before the tribunal on Friday after his appeal was rejected within just a few hours by the Lahore High Court where he challenged the formation of the ACT by the PCB. Latif was also handed the opening brief and the evidence against him so that he could also submit an answering brief on May 5.
While both players have agreed to the minor misdemeanour of not reporting approaches to the PCB, the duo are contesting other charges placed against them. The specific articles both are alleged to have violated are: 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.4.4 and 2.4.5. In addition, Latif is alleged to have breached 2.1.4.
Published in Express Tribune