The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday reached an agreement with Muhammad Irfan regarding his suspension in the aftermath of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing scandal.
After Irfan formally conceded to his failure to report a solicitation from two bookies during the PSL tournament, the PCB said it had suspended his contract for one year with the possibility of a review in six months.
The announcement was made after Irfan publicly asked for the country’s ‘forgiveness’ on his failure to report the fact that bookies had approached him during the PSL tournament.
While addressing media, Irfan said: “You are aware that on March 14, the board called in and suspended me on the basis of two allegations. I accept that it was my fault in the charge that I failed to let the board know when bookies approached me.”
“PCB’s code of conduct makes it clear that we have to report any such interaction immediately,” Irfan added.
“I am formally asking the nation for their forgiveness and hope that I will be pardoned by them,” Irfan said, concluding his brief address.
Irfan had also submitted a written statement to the PCB on March 27 admitting to the charges levelled against him and appeared for two meetings on March 27 and 28 to explain his case, a PCB press release said.
PCB officials said they believe that Irfan did not engage in any malpractice and clarified that his suspension is based solely on his failure to report the bookies’ offer to PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit immediately.
Sanctions imposed on Mohammad Irfan
A period of ineligibility of one year shall be imposed on Irfan, the PCB has announced, during the first six months of which Irfan will be suspended on the following additional conditions:
There will be no further breach of the PCB’s Code of Conduct by the bowler within the period of his ineligibility and no previous breach of the Code by Irfan comes to light. (If any such breach(es) take place, the PCB shall reserve the right to initiate a separate and independent proceeding against the bowler under the Code.)
Irfan will pay a fine of Rs1 million.
Irfan will provide substantial assistance (as described under the Code) to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department.
Irfan will, over the next six months, participate in programmes for ‘Anti-Corruption Education’, which may include, among other things, delivering lectures on corruption prevention and appearing in anti-corruption videos.
During the period of ineligibility, Irfan’s central contract with the PCB shall stand suspended and no new contract shall be offered to him.
In accordance with Article 6.4 of the PCB’s Code, the period of provisional suspension imposed by the PCB in accordance with Article 4.7.1 (a), starting on March 14, 2017, shall be credited against the total period of ineligibility to be served.
In the PCB’s official release, Chairman Shaharyar Khan and PSL Chairman Najam Sethi also reiterated the importance for all players to acknowledge their responsibilities and obligations under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code.
Suspension from cricket
The PCB had suspended the fast bowler on March 14 following the authority’s investigations into spot-fixing allegations against several players.
The fast bowler was suspended and charge-sheeted over his alleged connections with bookies. The PCB had asked Irfan to submit his reply within 14 days.
Irfan had appeared before the PCB anti-corruption unit in Lahore on March 13 to respond to the charges against him.
There were reports that Irfan took the stance that he could not report to the unit because he was upset due to the death of his parents, who passed away one after other in a space of one year.
Along with Irfan, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif and Shahzaib Hasan too were accused of allegedly meeting bookies in Dubai.
The PCB had immediately sidelined the prime suspects, Sharjeel and Khalid, but had allowed Irfan and Shahzaib to continue playing in the league after initial inquiries.
But after the end of the PSL final in Lahore earlier this month, both Irfan and Shahzaib were summoned by the Anti-Corruption Unit.