Evidence against Sharjeel insufficient - lawyer
The evidence presented against Sharjeel Khan for the alleged corruption charges against him is "insufficient", according to his lawyer Shaigan Ijaz. In the second hearing of the case against him, the PCB presented the evidence in front of three-man tribunal the board had formed, and provided the material to the player and his counsel, who need to submit the response by May 5.
"They have presented the evidences to the tribunal that contain statements of witnesses and some recording of interviews they had done during the investigations," Sharjeel's counsel said. "I want to insist to my media friends that everybody is innocent until or unless proven guilty. Sharjeel Khan is our national asset and our national team player and until the matter is in proceeding and until things are not proved, he is innocent. We will assess the evidence in detail but we understand that these are insufficient."
Similarly, Khalid Latif appeared before the tribunal along with his lawyer and was handed over the evidences. He also needs to respond by May 5.
Sharjeel and Latif were charged by the PCB for alleged breaches of its Anti Corruption Code, during the second season of the PSL in the UAE. The PCB had charged the duo for breaching various articles under Clause 2, for attempts to corrupt a game, and for failing to disclose suspect approaches. Both had challenged the harges and a tribunal was formed to hear their cases.
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. Both players had denied some of the alleged breaches they were accused of but admitted to at least one of the more minor charges that was related to not reporting the corrupt approaches.
The charges are mainly centred on the opening game of the second season of the PSL, as well as activities around it, in Dubai. Islamabad United had registered a comfortable seven-wicket win, by the D/L method, over Peshawar Zalmi. Sharjeel was dismissed for 1 off four balls and Latif did not play the game. Both players were provisionally suspended by the PCB and were sent home with immediate effect.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent