Last year's PSL spot-fixing scandal has claimed yet another scalp, with Shahzaib Hasan handed a one-year ban after falling foul of the PCB's anti-corruption code. Shahzaib was found guilty on two counts of breaching Clause 2.4.4, which deals with a failure to disclose corrupt approaches, and one count of Clause 2.4.5, which concerns the failure to report any incident a player is aware of that would amount to a breach of the anti-corruption code.
Shahzaib has, crucially, been found not guilty of breaching the far more serious Clause 2.1.4, which involves "directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any participant to breach any of the foregoing provisions of this Article 2.1." That would have likely led to a significantly longer ban.
The judgement revealed that Shahzaib, in addition to failing to report a corrupt approach from bookmakers "Sajid" and "Robbie", had also failed to inform the PCB's anti-corruption unit about the details of the approach to the national cricketers. It was also judged that he failed to disclose the full details of approaches received by Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan relating to engaging in corrupt conduct during the fifth ODI against Australia in Adelaide in on January 26 last year.
Since Shahzaib was provisionally suspended by the PCB on March 18 last year, his ban is less than three weeks away from its end. He has also been fined Rs 1 million (approximately GBP 6500). However, the PCB's legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi, speaking to reporters after the verdict, said this did not mean he would be eligible to play cricket as soon as that.
"His ban may end on March 17, but remember that according to the anti-corruption code, you have to go through a rehabilitation process. The first step towards beginning rehabilitation is the acceptance of guilt. If he does not accept that he was guilty, then his rehabilitation process cannot begin."
Shahzaib is the sixth player to be sanctioned in the wake of the PSL spot-fixing case. Today's events meant all six players - Sharjeel Khan (5 years), Khalid Latif (5 years), Mohammad Irfan (1 year) , Mohammad Nawaz (2 months), Nasir Jamshed (1 year) were the others - have been banned for certain lengths of time for their role in the saga. Even so, the process is not yet concluded. The PCB has slapped further corruption charges on Nasir Jamshed, which could result in a longer ban, while it is not yet clear whether either party will appeal the tribunal's verdict on Shahzaib.
It has been more than seven years since the opening batsman Shahzaib last played for Pakistan, with his participation in their victorious 2009 World T20 campaign the highlight of his brief international career of three ODIs and 10 T20Is.