PSL spot-fixing row: PCB, FIA lock horns over probe

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar. 22 (ANI): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has hit out at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over the ongoing probe into Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing scandal, stating that it is solely their domain to investigate the players involved in any 'wrongdoings'.
The PCB insisted that as there is no proper law that exists in the country to deal with the spot-fixing offence, the FIA might face problem to deal with the same and, therefore, they should restrict themselves only to the criminal aspects of the case.
Downplaying that they are against the FIA investigating the matter, PSL chairman Najam Sethi said he never asked the agency to stop its probe, while adding that the cricket board has its own rules which are more strict than that of International Cricket Council (ICC).
"I want FIA, which has taken suo motu of the case, to continue with its probe in this matter and should better go after bookies like British Crime Agency does. Since there has been no law to deal with the spot-fixing here in Pakistan, this matter comes under the domain of PCB's discipline and conduct and the Board can award exemplary punishment to the guilty players," explained Sethi.
"The FIA deals with the criminal side of this case and if any such findings come up during the PCB tribunal probe, the FIA will be asked to take action. However, the FIA should better go after bookies and let the PCB deal with the players' wrongdoings," he said.
According to the Dawn, the PCB has also not yet submitted the mobile phones of the four suspected players namely, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan and Shahzaib Hassan for forensic examination to the cyber crime wing of the FIA which clearly depicts that the two organizations are not walking on the same road for the PSL probe.
"Without forensic examination of the cellphones of the spot-fixing suspects, the probe cannot move an inch further. The four cricketers have recorded their statements with the FIA which are very similar to what they had submitted to the PCB's anti-corruption unit, thus nothing new can be extracted from them," an FIA source said.
However, Sethi quashed the PCB's 'reluctance' over the same, saying that the FIA had not yet asked for handing over the players' cellphones.
"FIA has not asked yet for handing over the players cellphones. We will hand them over to FIA when it does. There has been no tension between PCB and FIA over this matter," he clarified," Sethi said.
On Tuesday, Sharjeel and Shahzaib recorded their statement before the FIA cyber crime in which they denied any involvement in spot-fixing like Irfan and Khalid.
The FIA had also summoned left-handed opener Jamshed for his alleged involvement in the PSL spot-fixing scandal, but was informed that the National Crime Agency UK had confiscated his passport and investigations against him were underway there.
The source also hinted that some more cricketers might also come in light once the FIA investigations are finalized.
When asked whether the FIA would face any problem in retrieving the WhatsApp data as the players had already deleted their conversation with the bookies, the source denied any such issue.
"Forensic examination will be enough to retrieve the data," he said.
In the wake of rising tension between the two governing body, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had asked the top officials of PCB and FIA to work together for swift dispensation of justice in the spot-fixing scandal case.
Earlier, the PCB had formed the three-member committee after Islamabad United pair of Khalid and Sharjeel formally informed the board that they seek to contest charges against them.
The duo were suspended by the PCB for their alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal during the first week of the PSL.
According to the prescribed procedure, the tribunal would now issue notices for a preliminary hearing to both PCB as well as the players.(ANI)

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