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November 20, 2006
Mohammad Khalil, the Pakistan left-arm seamer, has been officially cleared of charges of ball-tampering in a Patrons Trophy match between his team, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and Pakistan Customs at Karachi, due to lack of sufficient evidence. Rao Iftikhar Anjum, ZTBL's captain, was instead held responsible and imposed a fine of Rs 5000.
The incident occurred in the second day's play, during the 29th over of Customs' innings, when the umpires Riazuddin and Shakeel Khan suspected that the condition of the ball had changed. They called for a replacement and awarded five penalty runs to the batting side. Khalil was bowling at the moment, and it was reported in the Pakistan media that he was found guilty and slapped a fine by Khalid Niazi, the match referee. However, Niazi clarified the actual version of the events in an official verdict today.
"According to the laws of the game, when no one is caught red-handed, the captain is responsible," said Niazi. "So a fine of Rs 5000 has been imposed on Rao Iftikhar Anjum on behalf of ZTBL. Mohammad Khalil was called in for the hearing just because he was bowling at the time but no evidence or proof was found against him so he has been cleared gracefully from this matter."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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