Pakistan batsman Khalid Latif has been banned for 5 years from all forms of cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board owing to his role in the spot-fixing scandal in the 2017 Pakistan Super League. Latif, who played for Islamabad United was charged with six major breaches and found guilty for all six.
After being found guilty, the batsman has been fined 1 million Pakistan Rupees (USD 9489 approximately). Latif's lawyer Badar Alam did not show up to hear the verdict being announced. Latif has the right to appeal the judgment within 14 days of receiving the detailed decision. However, the decision has not been released yet.
On the other hand, Taffazul Rizvi, PCB's lawyer said that the PCB would scrutinize whether to lodge an appeal, since the discontentment of Alam points towards the chances of an appeal on his client's part.
Unlike Sharjeel Khan, who was banned for 5 years on August 30 for spot-fixing charges from the same match at the PSL, any of Latif's sentence has not been suspended, which suggests that the 31-year old would not be able to return to cricket till at least 2022. It is likely to be the harshest punishment given to any player involved in the PSL spot-fixing saga.
Others like Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz were also banned, for the relatively less serious charges of failure to report corrupt approaches. However, they have since returned to domestic cricket.
"There are cases you don't feel happy winning, because it's unfortunate to see a player being banned. But he is responsible for tarnishing his own career, and all fixing allegations against him have been proved," said PCB's Lawyer Taffazul Rizvi to ESPN.
Similar to the case against Sharjeel, Latif has also been given the minimum sentence which is compulsory for the offences he was convicted of, and could have potentially faced a life ban.
A veteran on the domestic circuit, Latif made his debut when he was 14 years old, but couldn't make an impact at the international level. An emerging star on the U-19 circuit, he lead the Pakistan side to a World Cup win in 2004. He started playing in the ODI side in 2008, but played just five games over a two year period. He hasn't been quite consistent in the T20Is as well, playing only 13 over an 8 year period, the last in 2016 against West Indies.
If this ban isn't reduced or overturned after an appeal, it might prove to be the end of Latif's international days, and when the ban ends, his age would be 36, making a comeback even in the domestic circuit would be quite challenging.
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