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Akhtar feels more embarrassment in store for PCB

February 18, 2017 20:34 IST

Shoaib Akhtar

IMAGE: Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar bowls during the 2003 World Cup match against India at Centurion. Photograph: Arko Datta/Reuters

Pakistan's former maverick fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) could find itself in an embarrassing situation if it is unable to prove the spot-fixing allegations against Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif.

Akhtar claimed that he had a feeling that the head of the PCB Anti-Corruption Unit, Colonel (retd) Azam had acted hastily and committed a blunder in the whole scandal, which broke out when the two players were sent back home from Dubai from the Pakistan Super League.

The PCB suspended Sharjeel and Khalid under the anti-corruption code and since returning they have appeared thrice before the ACU head and the board's legal experts in Lahore.

"I don't know but if Sharjeel and Khalid are pleading no guilty now and if the board has charge sheet them and appoint a commission to probe the matter than I get a feeling perhaps the ACU head overreacted and made a mistake by sending the players home," Akhtar said.
"I don't understand if like the board has been saying if the evidence and material against the two is so strong that they were suspended than why are they pleading not guilty and have decided to fight the case," he said.

The former fast bowler said that it was always very difficult to prove match fixing or spot fixing allegations before any court of law or commission.

"The onus is now on the board to provide evidence and if it is not satisfactory it will be embarrassing for the PCB," he added.

Akhtar said and even if the matter went to a commission or court it could open a pandora's box for Pakistan cricket.

Akhtar claimed that from what he had heard Sharjeel and Khalid were told to plead guilty by the ACU and legal advisors of PCB in recent meetings.

"But from what I know the players refused and said they would fight the case. Which I think is their right."

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