FIA puts alleged spot-fixers on ECL

*PCB denies making any complaint to FIA to launch an investigation into players’ conduct

FIA puts alleged spot-fixers on ECL

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday put the names of cricketers under investigation for the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) spot-fixing scandal on the Exit Control List (ECL). The news came after Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan approved the FIA’s request to bar all those cricketers from leaving the country. The FIA, in a letter, had asked the Interior Ministry to prevent the players from travelling abroad till the investigation is completed. The Pakistan Cricket Board has provisionally suspended Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed from playing any form of cricket for violating anti-corruption code during the recently concluded Pakistan Super League. Jamshed is still in Britain, where he was first arrested as part of investigation into alleged corruption in the PSL.

Irfan and Latif recorded their statements to officials of Federal Investigation Authority in Lahore on Monday in response to a summons from the agency, which said an “enquiry has been registered on the complaint of Subhan Ahmed, chief operating officer PCB” and their presence was required. Hasan and Sharjeel are scheduled to record their statements to FIA officials on Tuesday (today). The PCB, however, distanced itself from the FIA’s inquiry as the board had only written to the FIA requesting assistance in obtaining forensic information from mobile phones in connection to the PSL case. “No complaint has been made by the PCB to the FIA to launch an investigation into players’ conduct,” Ahmed was quoted as saying. “We have simply asked the FIA to certify the authenticity of the data in players’ mobile phones in the PCB’s possession for submission to anti-corruption tribunal as evidence,” he added.

The Interior Minister, in an earlier media talk, had stated that the FIA would carry out an inquiry irrespective of the fact the PCB was reluctant to probe the case through the agency. Nisar said the PCB can continue its inquiry but the FIA would still also look into the case. Nisar said there should be a zero tolerance policy and anybody who involved in spot-fixing should not be spared. The PCB has formed a separate three-member tribunal which includes a retired high court judge and a retired general to conduct its own inquiry against Sharjeel and Latif. Last month, Sharjeel and Latif were sent back home from the United Arab Emirates for alleged spot-fixing during the PSL’s opening match. The PCB’s anti-corruption unit questioned Irfan and Hasan during the PSL, but they were allowed to compete in the tournament. Both were provisionally suspended after they recorded their statements to the PCB’s ACU officials in Lahore last week.