Khalid Latif’s plea against five-year ban rejected

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KARACHI: Former Pakistan opener Khalid Latif on Wednesday lost an appeal against a five-year ban for spot-fixing but had his one million rupees ($10,000) fine waived, the country’s cricket body said.

Adjudicator Justice Faqir Khokhar upheld the ban, saying there was “overwhelming” evidence against Latif, but waived the fine as his career was almost over, Pakistan Cricket Board lawyer Taffazul Rizvi told reporters in Lahore.

The former Islamabad United opener was punished for taking part in the spot-fixing scandal during the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Latif had faced six charges, including that of persuading or attempting to persuade three other cricketers — Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan, and Sharjeel Khan — to get involved in spot-fixing.

Earlier on Sep 20, 2017, the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Tribunal (ACT) tried to award Khalid him a five-year ban and Rs 1 million fine.

“Khalid Latif has been found guilty on all charges,” said PCB legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi after the verdict. “This is a vindication of what the PCB had been saying. He met bookies twice, and the second time, when he took Sharjeel Khan along with him, provided conclusive proof of his guilt. The PCB does not take pleasure from meting out punishment to any cricketer, but the law must be upheld. We need to rid ourselves of corrupt cricketers like these. I hope all other cricketers learn a lesson from this case. If anyone is even thinking of indulging in corrupt practices, they should banish the thought. And if anyone is illicitly approached, they must report it immediately.”

After the verdict was announced, Khalid’s lawyer, Badar Alam had said that since the PCB did not file an appeal to enhance the punishment given to Khalid by the PCB ACT, his client is confident about fighting his case.

Latif represented Pakistan in five ODIs and 13 T20Is, where he collectively scored 384 runs, courtesy two half-centuries.