Suspended Pakistani batsman Khalid Latif will contest spot-fixing allegations against him, his lawyer said on Friday.
Latif appeared before the Pakistan Cricket Board’s tribunal earlier today, which has been set up to hear the alleged corruption charges against him and fellow suspended cricketer Sharjeel Khan.
During the case proceedings, Latif’s lawyer Badar Alam informed that his client has rejected all the allegations and will take the case to trial.
Latif has been charged with breaches of Articles 2.1.1; 2.1.2; 2.1.3, 2.1.4; 2.4.4; and 2.4.5 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code.
The PCB’s anti-corruption tribunal, during its preliminary hearing today at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore, in consultation with both the parties agreed upon the procedure and timelines to be adopted under the anti-corruption code, the PCB said in its press release. The PCB will submit its opening brief detailing its claims along with the evidence to be relied on by 14th April.
Latif will be provided with an opportunity to respond by 5th May 2017 and the PCB may, at its discretion, file a rebuttal by 10th May 2017, the board stated.
The final hearing will commence from 19h May 2017 on a day-to-day basis.
Latif, who was scheduled to appear before the tribunal along with fellow Islamabad United opener Sharjeel Khan last week, had not appeared citing health reasons. As a result, his hearing was postponed by a week on the condition that no future adjournment would be granted.
Spot-fixing, an illegal betting practice, has been rife in Pakistan cricket in recent years. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials have vowed zero tolerance in the current case, saying they have solid evidence.
Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, 34, became the first culprit to be punished when he confessed Wednesday to the only charge against him, of “not reporting an offer of fixing”.
He was banned for one year, including six months suspended.
Latif and Sharjeel Khan — both openers for Pakistan´s Twenty20 team — were provisionally suspended and expelled from the PSL in Dubai on February 10 on charges of meeting a suspicious man linked to an international betting syndicate.
Sharjeel faces five charges on counts relating to fixing and failure to report it. Latif faces the same charges with an additional sixth charge of attempting to lure other players to fixing. The charges against them could result in a life ban.
Sharjeel appeared before the tribunal last Friday and is also likely to contest the charges.
Two other former Pakistan openers, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzaib Hasan, were also suspended in the case.
Jamshed, who allegedly played the link between the players and bookies, was arrested along with an unnamed man in Britain in February, but both were released on bail until April.
A two-member PCB legal team will go to Britain to question Jamshed next week.—AFP