Pakistan batsman Khalid Latif‘s five-year ban for corruption has been upheld by an independent adjudicator. Latif, 32, had filed an appeal with the adjudicator after he was banned from cricket last September by an independent tribunal, for his role in the spot-fixing scandal that marred the second edition of the PSL in 2017. The adjudicator, Justice Fakheer Mohammad Khokhar, upheld his conviction on all six of the original charges but did offer some relief, waiving away the fine of Rs 1 million (approximately US$9500) placed on him.
“Khalid Latif has been found guilty on all charges,” the PCB’s legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi told reporters after the verdict. “This is a vindication of what the PCB had been saying. He met bookies twice, and the second time, when he took Sharjeel Khan along with him, provided conclusive proof of his guilt. The PCB does not take pleasure from meting out punishment to any cricketer, but the law must be upheld. We need to rid ourselves of corrupt cricketers like these. I hope all other cricketers learn a lesson from this case. If anyone is even thinking of indulging in corrupt practices, they should banish the thought. And if anyone is illicitly approached, they must report it immediately.”
It would appear the fine has been waived keeping in mind that Latif’s career is all but over. He will be 36 by the time his ban ends, with the chances of making a domestic comeback greatly reduced, and an international one almost out of the question.
“I think the reason for the fine being set aside was that with his career over, it would have been difficult for him [to pay it],” Rizvi said. “Everyone knows the effects a five-year ban can have on someone.”
Latif’s lawyer Badar Alam did not show up to hear the verdict being announced. He had raised several objections throughout the initial proceedings of the tribunal, and did not turn up when the ban was imposed last year either. Alam had refused to turn up for several hearings during proceedings too, and had registered a case against the formation of the tribunal to adjudicate on Latif’s case. A detailed report of the judgment will be released later.
A domestic veteran who made his debut 17 years ago when he was still 14, Latif has never quite been able to make the grade at international level. He was a rising star on the Under-19 circuit, captaining the Pakistan side to a World Cup win in 2004. He was called up to the ODI side in 2008, but played just five games over two years. He hasn’t been able to find much more consistency in T20Is, playing 13 over an eight-year period, the last against the West Indies in a home series in 2016.