A day after an independent adjudicator rejected Sharjeel Khan’s appeal against his spot-fixing ban, the former Pakistan opener has decided to challenge the ban in the Lahore High Court, his lawyer said on Thursday (November 9).
Sharjeel, who played one Test, 25 One-Day Internationals and 15 Twenty20 Internationals, was banned for five years –two and a half suspended – in a spot-fixing case in August by a three-man tribunal set up by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to investigate the case that rocked the Pakistan Super League’s second edition in February this year.
Sharjeel was charged on five counts of violating the code of conduct after agreeing to play two dot-balls in the opening match between his team Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi. The deal was orchestrated by Khalid Latif, his fellow opener who was also banned for five years and slapped with a hefty fine.
Shaigan Ijaz, Sharjeel’s lawyer, said once the detailed judgement was made available, he would file the appeal in the court.
“We are waiting for the detailed judgement and once we know the grounds on which our appeal was turned down then we will definitely go to the higher court,” Ijaz told Wisden Pakistan.
Sharjeel’s ban came as a big jolt to his fast-rising career as he had just established himself in the Pakistan team. The ban also deprived him of a contract with Leicestershire in the English T20 Blast and possible deals with the Big Bash League and Caribbean Premier League teams.
Ijaz pointed out that the PCB tribunal had given two options to Sharjeel when they announced the ban, which has restricted their options.
“The tribunal had given us either of the two options, first to appeal with an adjudicator or go the Court of Arbitration. We have used one option so we cannot go to the CAS now,” he said. “They (PCB) were unable to prove spot fixing so we will continue to challenge the decision until we get justice.’
The PCB, meanwhile, had said at the time that the sentence was less than what the code illustrated: Five years to a life ban.
Two other players – Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed – are still under investigation in the case. Mohammad Irfan was also banned for one year (six months suspended) while Mohammad Nawaz was banned for two months (one suspended). Both players have completed their bans.