Cricket: Pakistan bans Latif for five years over spot-fixing

Suspended Pakistani cricketer Khalid Latif, left, and his lawyer leave the High Court building in Lahore, on April 14, 2017. (File photo by AFP)
Updated 20 September 2017

Cricket: Pakistan bans Latif for five years over spot-fixing

LAHORE: Pakistan cricket’s anti-corruption tribunal Wednesday banned opener Khalid Latif for five years and fined him one million rupees ($9,489) over a spot-fixing case, the second casualty after teammate Sharjeel Khan was banned late last month.
“Latif is banned for five years and fined one million rupees after the proceedings of the case,” the three-member tribunal announced.
The 31-year-old has played five one-day internationals and 13 T20Is, the last of which was against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi in September 2016.
In August, Sharjeel was banned for five years, with two-and-a-half years suspended, for his role in the spot-fixing scandal.
Latif had been charged with breaching six clauses, including the serious offense of luring other players to take part in fixing.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) provisionally suspended Latif and Sharjeel after they found evidence of spot-fixing during a Pakistan Super League (PSL) match between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai in February.
The board said Sharjeel and Latif met an alleged bookie and struck a deal. Based on the plan, Sharjeel — an aggressive batsman who scores quickly — agreed to play two dot balls after the first over in the match.
Although Latif did not play in that game, he was later charged with luring Sharjeel into the deal and not reporting the matter to the PCB anti-corruption unit.
Spot-fixing involves bets on the outcome of a particular passage of play, unlike match-fixing in which there is an attempt to prearrange the result of the match.
Both players were suspended provisionally at the time and withdrawn from the PSL.
The minimum punishment for the charges which Latif faced was a six-month suspension with a maximum of a life ban.
Under the PCB code players can appeal rulings before an independent arbitrator within 14 days of the decision.
Four other players — Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Nawaz — were also included in the investigation on multiple charges.
Irfan and Nawaz admitted not reporting the bookie’s offer. Irfan was banned for one year with six months suspended and fined one million rupees. Nawaz was banned for two months, with one suspended, and fined 200,0000 rupees.
Both are now free to play, while the cases against Hasan and Jamshed are continuing.
Latif’s lawyer Badre Alam repeatedly raised objections during the proceedings, and also filed a petition in the Lahore high court against the tribunal. But the pleas were rejected by the court.
Alam, who like Latif did not attend the announcement, rejected the verdict.
“The short decision proves that the tribunal is not impartial,” Alam told media. “They had made up their mind to punish Latif. We will decide our plans only after the detailed judgment comes.”
Latif had shown tremendous promise at an early age but has failed to make an impact at international level.
Having made his first class debut at 15, he led Pakistan to victory at the Junior World Cup in Bangladesh in 2004.
But once drafted to the Pakistan side for a one-day match against Zimbabwe in 2008, Latif could not cement his place on the national team.
Last year he appeared to have become a regular player in the Twenty20 squad, having scored a rapid 59 not out against England last year.
But the latest punishement looks set to all but end a career which had only briefly taken off.


Rain causes fresh delay to England-Pakistan 2nd Test

Updated 15 August 2020

Rain causes fresh delay to England-Pakistan 2nd Test

  • Pakistan, 1-0 down in a three-match series, will resume on 223-9 in their first innings
  • Mohammad Rizwan is not out at 60

SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom: Rain meant there was no play before lunch on the third day of the second Test between England and Pakistan at Southampton on Saturday in a match already plagued by stoppages for bad weather.
Play should have resumed at 11:00 am local time (1000 GMT) but light rain meant the pitch and square remained fully covered, with the floodlights then on full beam.
Had the players been on the field, play may well have continued given the rain was only of the ‘spitting’ kind.
But, with no spectators present in a series being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus, the floodlights were then switched off in a clear indication the umpires had decided there would not be any action before lunch.
Pakistan, 1-0 down in a three-match series, will resume on 223-9 in their first innings, after winning the toss, following a second day where only 40 overs’ play took place.
Mohammad Rizwan batted with huge skill and resolve in overcast, swing-friendly conditions, to be 60 not out.
In partnership with dogged tailender Mohammad Abbas (two off 20 balls), the wicketkeeper took Pakistan past 200 in a ninth-wicket after they had come together with the tourists struggling at 176-8.
This was Rizwan’s second fifty in eight career Tests following his 95 against Australia in Brisbane in November.
Pakistan were also indebted to opener Abid Ali (60) and Babar Azam (47) for painstaking innings when the conditions were stacked against the batsmen.
Meanwhile in-form paceman Stuart Broad became the first England bowler since off-spinner Graeme Swann 11 years ago to take at least three wickets in seven consecutive Test innings thanks to a return of 3-56 in 25 overs.
Broad has taken 25 wickets in four Test so far this season at a misery average of 12.88.
Victory in this match will see England secure their first series win over Pakistan since 2010.