Karachi: Tainted Test opener Sharjeel Khan completed a 30-month ban for spot-fixing Saturday but Pakistan Cricket Board has made it clear that he has to accept his wrongdoing and attend Anti-Corruption rehabilitation programme before resuming his career.
Sharjeel was banned from all forms of cricket for five years in August 2017 for his role in the spot-fixing scandal that marred Pakistan Super League (PSL) earlier that year but the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Tribunal had said half of his ban would remain suspended.
Sharjeel, playing for the Islamabad United franchise, was found guilty by the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Tribunal headed by Lt General (retired) Tauqir Zia, along with other players like Khalid Latif, Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Nawaz, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzaib Hasan.
A PCB official said Sharjeel could be allowed to resume playing as soon as September in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy but he has to first admit his involvement in the spot-fixing and apologise for his actions.
He recalled that Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif had to do the same when their spot-fixing bans expired in 2015.
Sharjeel’s lawyer Shaighan Ejaz said they had already written to the PCB that his client was ready to undergo the rehabilitation process so that he can return to playing cricket.
Asked about the particular provision under which Sharjeel will have admit his crime and make a public apology, Ejaz said the rehabilitation programme itself contained a clause which said a player can only be allowed to attend it if he is deemed to have admitted his mistake and shown remorse for his actions.
“Sharjeel wants to play cricket again and once we get an answer from the PCB, we will see where things stand,” he said.
Sources close to Sharjeel said he has accepted the five charges laid out against him but is reluctant to admit that he committed spot-fixing or derived any financial benefits from it.