Pakistan suspends Mohammad Irfan in spot-fixing case

Mohammad Irfan avoids media persons while he arrives at Pakistan Cricket Board headquarters in Lahore on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 14 March 2017

Pakistan suspends Mohammad Irfan in spot-fixing case

KARACHI: Pakistan on Tuesday charged and suspended giant fast bowler Mohammad Irfan over allegations of spot-fixing during a recent Twenty20 league, in a case that has so far ensnared three other current or former national stars.
The widening scandal threatens to take some of the sheen off the recently completed Pakistan Super League (PSL), which was hailed as a step toward restoring international cricket in the terror-hit country after the final in Lahore passed without incident.
A guilty verdict for the players would prove disastrous for Pakistan cricket, which was last rocked by a match-fixing scandal in 2010 that deprived it of three top players including paceman Mohammad Amir, who has since made a comeback.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in furtherance to its investigation issued a Notice of Charge and provisionally suspended Irfan under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code,” the body said in a statement.
It added: “Irfan has been charged with two violations of the anti-corruption code and now has 14 days to respond to the Notice of Charge,” without giving further details.
“He has also been provisionally suspended with immediate effect from participating in all forms of cricket.”
Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, fellow members of the Islamabad United team that took part in the tournament, were also provisionally suspended and charged last month over meeting a man suspected of being linked to an international betting syndicate.
Former Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed was also provisionally suspended on charges of being a “go between” in the spot-fixing incident. Jamshed and another unnamed person were arrested in Britain last month but were bailed until April.
The PCB, which has formed a three-member tribunal under retired judge Asghar Haider to probe the allegations, said the investigation would continue.
Irfan, 34, appeared before the anti-corruption unit of the PCB on Monday and confessed to being approached by a bookmaker about fixing matches in the past six months.
He admitted he failed to report the incidents because of the death of his father in September followed by his mother’s passing in January.
Irfan made headlines for his extraordinary height – seven-feet-one- inch or 216 centimeters — when he made his international debut in 2010 and stands as the tallest-ever player to feature in world cricket.
He has so far played four Tests and 20 Twenty20 internationals, but has achieved most success in his 60 one-day internationals where he has taken 83 wickets at an average of 30.71.
His stature makes him a dangerous bowler as each ball is released from a height rarely experienced by batsmen.
Born a farmer’s son in the small village of Gaggu Mandi, he said that in his younger days he was mocked by classmates and strangers because of his height.
Unable to make a breakthrough in the sport, he once made ends meet by working in a pipe factory, earning just 300 rupees ($3) a week, before being spotted by former first-class cricketer Nadeem Iqbal in a club match, and went on to make his first-class debut in 2009.


Pakistan’s Hafeez in isolation for breaking distancing rules

Updated 58 sec ago

Pakistan’s Hafeez in isolation for breaking distancing rules

  • Hafeez smiled for a photo with a woman at a golf course
  • Pakistan Cricket Board said it has tested Hafeez for Covid-19 and will allow him to rejoin the group if he is negative

LONDON: Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been placed in isolation on the eve of the second test against England after breaching social distancing guidelines by posing for a photograph with an elderly golfer.
Hafeez smiled for a photo with a woman who he identified as “90+ and living her life healthy” after the pair met during a round at the golf course which adjoins the Ageas Bowl — site of this week’s test match.

 

 

Hafeez is not part of the red-ball squad, and has instead traveled as part of the limited-overs group playing matches later this month, but his actions still represent a breach of strict rules governing the “bio-secure bubble.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement saying it has tested Hafeez for Covid-19 and will allow him to rejoin the group if he is negative.
The PCB said “the decision to put Hafeez in isolation has been taken for his and, the safety and security of everyone around him. The team management believes it was an inadvertent mistake, but a good reminder for everyone on the importance of following the bio-secure protocols, which have been designed for the health and safety of everyone involved in the series.”