What’s the story?
Pakistan’s left-arm fast bowler Mohammed Irfan has been provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board for allegedly failing to report an approach by a bookie during the just-concluded Pakistan Super League.
This decision was taken after the 34-year-old fast bowler was sanctioned on Monday which is a part of the board's investigation into alleged corruption in the Pakistan Super League.
"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in furtherance to its investigation issued a Notice of Charge and provisionally suspended Irfan under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code. Irfan has been charged with two violations of Code Article 2.4.4 and now has 14 days to respond to the Notice of Charge. He has also been provisionally suspended with immediate effect from participating in all forms of cricket.," a press release from the PCB informed.
The 7-feet bowler has allegedly breached the PCB's anti-corruption code twice. The latest breach took place at the PSL last month. He had then been plucked aside for interrogation, but after initial rounds of questioning, he was allowed to continue to play in the tournament. However, he was pulled up for another round of questioning last week by the anti-corruption committee along with another player in Shahzaib Hasan.
During the questioning, Irfan was found in breach of the article in the anti-corruption clause which clearly mentions that a player will be suspended if he ‘fails to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct’.
The verdict came soon after Irfan’s non-compliance came to the fore.
In case you didn’t know...
The Pakistan Super League was hit with corruption charges during the initial stages of the competition when International batsmen in Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were charged in February and were suspended. However, both Sharjeel and Khalid have appealed against the verdict and hence an independent jury has been constituted to look into the entire episode.
Also, out-of-favour opening batsman Nasir Jamshed was suspended and was subsequently arrested in the United Kingdom. He was later released on a bail.
The onus is entirely on the Pakistan Cricket Board and hopefully, they can fix the rot which has spread in the entire system. The ongoing investigation process is a step taken in the right earnest which could identify many other entities with malicious intent and take appropriate action against them.
On the part of the players they can still appeal the verdict if they consider themselves innocent and in the entire process, many other factors could come to the fore.
Fixing is one of the biggest scourge to plague the game of cricket and over the years many players and officials have taken this route which has only brought disrepute to the game.
It is mandatory that all the concerned authorities take this offence seriously and hand out severe punishments to the arbitrators and that no leniency is doled out for anyone bringing the game into disrepute deserves no sympathy.