Mar 192017

KARACHI: Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has finally broken his silence on the spot-fixing scandal which hit the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League second edition.

Talking to media earlier today, the veteran captain called for a life ban on players found guilty of spot-fixing.

“Those players found to be involved in spot-fixing should be banned for life. We are very disappointed this happened,” Misbah said, adding that strict action must be taken against the spot-fixers to ensure such incidents never happen again.

The 42-year-old captain lamented that the fixing scandal has tarnished the image of Pakistan cricket.

“It appears that the [positive] image for Pakistan cricket we had strived to build for the past seven years has been wasted,” Misbah said.

About the upcoming tour to West Indies, the skipper said he anticipates the series to be tough, adding that the West Indies’ players know how to leverage their home conditions to their advantage.

“West Indies won the last Test against us, that must have boosted their confidence. We have to be disciplined in our batting and bowling and in how we execute our game plan, in order to beat them on their home ground,” Misbah emphasised.

Commenting on his retirement plans, the veteran captain said he is thankful to the Pakistan Cricket Board for not pressurising him in this regard.

“They have left the decision to me, and I’m grateful for that. My focus is on playing well and winning the matches,” Misbah remarked.  

Cricketers Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan and Shahzaib Hasan have been provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket for violating the Pakistan Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code. Sharjeel and Latif, who were suspended during the opening week of the PSL for suspected links with an international fixing syndicate, face a minimum five years’ ban.

Batsman Shahzaib, who was charged and suspended on Friday, also faces a minimum five years’ ban. Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan faces a minimum six months’ ban.

Nasir Jamshed, who resides in the UK, was suspended during PSL after the PCB said it had ‘concrete evidence’ against the former opener. He was also arrested along with another suspect by Britain’s National Crime Agency last month as part of investigations but later released on bail, according to reports. 

On Sunday, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) called for the names of the five players, suspended for alleged involvement in spot-fixing during PSL 2017, to be put on the Exit Control List, sources told Geo News.

According to the sources, the FIA has written a letter to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar in which it has requested that the names of Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed be included on the ECL.

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