Found guilty of spot-fixing, Pakistan batsman Khalid Latif faces five-year ban

In yet another incidence of match-fixing by a Pakistani cricketer, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has banned batsman Khalid Latif for a duration of five years. Charged for having a role in spot-fixing in the 2017 Pakistan Super League T20 championship, PCB’s anti-corruption tribunal have further fined the cricketer a sum of one million Pakistani Rupees.

Officials from the board had earlier grilled Latif and five other players as the batsman were levelled with eight charges including allegations of persuading another player to indulge in spot-fixing. Speaking to PTI, a top PCB official had stated, “The PCB has levelled eight charges, four of them serious ones against Khalid and if they are all accepted by the tribunal it could end up banning the batsman for at least 10 years.”

Having played five ODIs and 13 T20s for the team’s national side, Khalid (31) is now banned to play any format of the game till 2022.

Confirming the ban on the batsman, PCB shared a post on Twitter, mentioning, “Anti-Corruption Tribunal has found Khalid Latif guiltily of all charges, therefore has announced a ban of 5 years & a fine of PKR 1 Million.”

Speaking to the media, PCB’s legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi said, “We can’t say right now if the verdict is lenient or not as we’ve not received the full verdict. Once we will, only then we can decide how to move forward.”

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However, refuting the charges levelled against Latif, his lawyer Badr Alam claimed that the anti-corruption tribunal was not authorized to take such decision. “We don’t accept this decision and we have already filed a challenge in the Supreme Court against the tribunal,” said Alam.

While during the probe, Latif had earlier refused to appear for the hearings, his lawyer challenged the formation and authority of the tribunal at the Lahore High Court. And despite several efforts, Alam’s objections were dismissed by the court.

Last month, Sharjee Khan, another player of PSL’s Islamabad United was also punished with a ban of five years by the board’s anti-corruption unit. However, unlike Latif, no fine was imposed on Khan.

Pakistan cricket had witnessed incidents of match-fixing and spot-fixing even earlier. The International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption tribunal, in 2010, imposed a ban for a minimum of five-years on former Test captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir. The three key players of the Pakistan’s national cricket team were charged for spot-fixing during the team’s tour of England.

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