KARACHI/DUBAI: With Pakistan Super League hit by a scandal and subsequent ouster of two of the Islamabad United players from the T20 league, the details of their Dubai meeting with a suspicious man a day before the opening ceremony are out.
The PSL kicked off with a glitzy ceremony at the Dubai Sports City Stadium on February 9 but was soon hit with a corruption scandal involving Islamabad United players.
Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif met a suspicious man at a restaurant in Dubai, wherein the two batsmen were given special kind of grease to apply on handles of their bats, according to sources.
This was meant to help the bookmakers present in the stadium identify them. Yet the players were already on the radar of Pakistan Cricket Board’s anti-corruption unit.
Khan and Latif were not just grilled after the first match of Islamabad United, but they were also shown evidence. The two players have then put on a flight back home.
Sources privy to the matter say the two players named a former opener of Pakistan cricket team for masterminding the scheme. The same opener who was part of Green Shirts in 2015 ICC World Cup.
Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif also confessed to having received Rs 0.5 million for fixing, sources said. The two players now have their international careers on the verge of being ended.
On Saturday, PSL chairman Najam Sethi said an inquiry into Sharjeel Khan and Khalif Latif being linked to an international syndicate trying to corrupt Pakistan’s T20 league will take 10-15 days.
“The matter will move forward after the inquiry is complete,” Sethi said.
According to him, three other players (Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Zulfiqar Babar) were questioned and had been cleared.
The United coach has also accepted that atmosphere in the team’s dressing room is not too good following suspension of two players due to corruption allegations.
“Emotionally and physically, the team has been through hell, honestly,” he commented when asked about the environment in Islamabad United camp following the elimination of two key players in an unfortunate and unwanted manner from PSL.
“From our owners to Wasim and our senior players, it has been a bit of tough time, but now we will regroup and we will get together and move on,” said Dean.
Dean, however, disagreed when one journalist asked if the scandal has affected team’s performance, the former Australian Cricketer added that team has got few days before next game to regroup.