PCB waives Sharjeel Khan’s suspended sentence following ‘unconditional apology’

Sharjeel Khan is about to return to top-flight cricket by the top of the yr. The replace comes after he met the PCB and each events agreed on a roadmap for his return following, for the primary time since he was banned, Sharjeel providing an “unconditional apology” for “irresponsible conduct that introduced embarrassment to everybody” and asking for forgiveness.

Sharjeel didn’t particularly deal with what he was apologising for, even evading repeated media enquiries on the matter after his assertion had been submitted. However it appeared sufficient of an request for forgiveness for the PCB, which introduced that Sharjeel’s suspended sentence could be waived and he would endure full rehabilitation to permit him to reintegrate into the sport.

“I supply my unconditional apology to the Pakistan Cricket Board, my team-mates, followers and household for the irresponsible conduct that introduced embarrassment to everybody,” Sharjeel stated in an announcement. “I admission of guilt and guarantee I’ll present extra accountability in my future actions.

“I remind all cricketers to strictly and religiously observe the PCB Anti-Corruption Code as breaching it can solely earn momentary features however the penalties will probably be extreme and final for remainder of the profession. I’ve agreed on the longer term plan of action with the PCB, together with serving to it in its training periods on anti-corruption. I’ll quickly return to membership cricket however is not going to rush into home cricket as I’ve been away for practically 30 months and want time to reclaim my health and type.”

In line with a PCB assertion, the rehabilitation consists of attending and delivering lectures on the PCB anti-corruption code, in addition to visits to orphanages as a part of his social accountability, earlier than he takes half in “integration periods” with the nationwide squad.

Sharjeel, 29, was banned in 2017 from all types of cricket for his function within the spot-fixing scandal that marred the PSL’s second version. On the opening night time, Sharjeel and Khalid Latif, taking part in for Islamabad United, have been charged with 5 main breaches of the PCB’s anti-corruption code and have been discovered responsible on all 5 counts by a three-man tribunal. Sharjeel was handed the minimal necessary punishment on every of his expenses. Latif acquired a five-year ban, with no probability of a waiver earlier than the interval ended.

Whether or not Sharjeel’s suspended sentence could be waived was doubtful as not too long ago as last week, when, together with his ban set to run out, the participant appeared to not have admitted his guilt, proven regret for his actions, or taken half in any rehabilitation programmes.

Throughout his ban, Sharjeel maintained his innocence and denied all expenses, interesting in opposition to the ban earlier than an unbiased arbitrator, after which in court docket, solely to have it rejected. Since then he has been weighing his choices, and eventually selected to write down to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, requesting him to make use of his discretion to waive the rest of the ban.

That seems to have been accepted, with the assertion from the cricketer part of the deal. The PCB additionally confirmed that the rehabilitation and reintegration would run side-by-side. It represents one thing of a departure from norm, the place reintegration into cricket solely turns into potential after the participant has accomplished his rehab, however the PCB’s stance has softened within the wake of Sharjeel’s apology.

Lt Col (R) Asif Mahmood, director of the PCB’s safety and anti-corruption unit, stated, “We met Sharjeel right now by which he confirmed regret and remorse for his actions. The PCB by no means takes delight in penalising its gamers, however it has a non-negotiable and zero-tolerance method to issues regarding corruption.

“I hope this serves as a reminder to all those that suppose they will get away with violating guidelines because the PCB is vigilant and dedicated to eradicate the menace of corruption from the sport.”