Pakistan's anti-corruption tribunal has banned opener Sharjeel Khan for five years over a spot-fixing case that has rocked the Pakistan Super League, the latest scandal to taint the sport in the cricket-mad country.
"Sharjeel is banned for five years, which has two-and-a-half year suspended, after the proceedings of the case," said Asghat Haider, who headed the three-member tribunal.
Sharjeel was found guilty of all five charges of breaching the Pakistan Cricket Board's anti-corruption code, though the batsman did manage to avoid a life ban and was instead handed the minimum punishment for each offence.
The ban will be back-dated from February 10 – the date from which he was initially suspended after being sent home from the United Arab Emirates during the PSL, for whom he played with Islamabad United.
In the previous month, the left-hander had enjoyed a productive ODI series against Australia, making half-centuries in Perth, Sydney and Adelaide in the final three games of the five-match series, and averaging 50.
Due to the suspended two-and-a-half section of the ban, Sharjeel could feasibly return to the game in August 2019.
In a column for cricket.com.au in April, retired Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who was Sharjeel's skipper at Islamabad, made his position clear on what he believed should be the fate of players found guilty of spot- or match-fixing.
"We need to set a tough precedent this time." Misbah said of the PCB investigation. "If the investigation makes it 100 per cent clear that the players were involved in corrupt activities, then we need to show everyone that there is no room in cricket for such players.
"They should be banned for life if found guilty."