The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Sharjeel Khan have agreed on a roadmap that will see the batsman reintegrated into top level competitive cricket by the end of the year.
The 30-year-old is currently serving a suspended five-year ban for his role in the spot-fixing scandal which occurred in the 2017 Pakistan Super League and he offered an unconditional apology for his action after his meeting with the PCB on Monday.
“I offer my unconditional apology to the Pakistan Cricket Board, my team-mates, fans and family for the irresponsible conduct that brought embarrassment to everyone. I request for forgiveness and assure I will show more responsibility in my future actions,” Sharjeel said in a statement released by the PCB.
“I remind all cricketers to strictly and religiously follow the PCB Anti-Corruption Code as breaching it will only earn momentary gains but the consequences will be severe and last for rest of the career.
“I have agreed on the future course of action with the PCB, including helping it in its education sessions on anti-corruption.
“I will soon return to club cricket but will not rush into domestic cricket as I have been away for nearly 30 months and need time to reclaim my fitness and form.”
The left-handed batsman will undertake a rehabilitation programme designed by the PCB’s Security and Anti-Corruption Unit which included attending and delivering lectures on the Anti-Corruption Code.
Sharjeel’s rehabilitation will be completed by the end of 2019 following which the opening batsman will return to top level cricket.
“We met Sharjeel today in which he showed remorse and regret for his actions. The PCB never takes pride in penalising its players, but it has a non-negotiable and zero-tolerance approach to matters relating to corruption,” PCB Security and Anti-Corruption Unit director Lt Col (R) Asif Mahmood said.
“I hope this serves as a reminder to all those who think they can get away with violating rules as the PCB is vigilant and committed to eliminate the menace of corruption from the game.”
Shrejeel has so far made one Test, 25 ODI and 15 T20 appearances for Pakistan and finished as the side’s top-scorer in the 2016 ICC World T20 held in India. His last appearance for the Men in Green came in January, 2016 in an ODI against Australia at Adelaide.
Joe Root ‘couldn’t believe’ that Steve Smith returned to action in Australia’s first innings before being ruled out of the remainder of a dramatic drawn Test at Lord’s.
Australia defied the absence of star batsman Smith because of a concussion and more devastating spells of pace bowling by Jofra Archer to hold out for a draw in the second Ashes Test against England on Sunday.
I mean that was a horrible moment,” said Root on the Archer short ball that caught Smith. “You’re always trying to find different ways of getting players like Steve out. You never want to see anyone get hurt. And I couldn’t believe that he managed to come back out and play.
Obviously desperate to do well for Australia and for his teammates. All of us in the dressing room just want to wish him a speedy recovery.
“So, we’ll plan for him to be ready to play (at Headingley) and have to keep trying to find ways to get him out.”
Set an improbable victory target of 267 off 48 overs at Lord’s, the Australians quickly slumped to 47-3 but a fourth-wicket stand of 85 between Marnus Labuschagne (59) and Travis Head (42 not out) helped push them to safety.
Australia lost three more wickets in a five-over stretch to keep the match alive as the light faded, but managed to survive to 154-6 at the end.
Australia retained a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Watch what England captain Root had to say in the video above.
Jofra Archer’s latest spell of thunderous fast bowling narrowly failed to deliver an Ashes-levelling victory at Lord’s but England captain Joe Root believes the debutant has reset the course of the series.
England made a bold push on day five of the second Specsavers Test, declaring 266 ahead after Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 115 and then reducing the tourists to 154 for six in a tense final session.
Just as he had been in the first innings Archer was at the centre of things again, taking three for 32 and sending down a number of ferocious deliveries at more than 90 miles per hour.
Archer had already forced star batsman Steve Smith to withdraw from the match with a delayed concussion caused by a 92mph bouncer to the neck on Saturday, and landed another frightening blow that smashed Marnus Labuschagne square in the grille.
Labuschagne was on the field as Smith’s concussion substitute, Test cricket’s first, and went on to top-score with 59.
Root did not demur when it was suggested that Archer might have the same kind of influence as Australia’s Mitchell Johnson, whose express speed saw him claim 37 wickets in the 2013/14 edition.
“Potentially. He’s come in and he really has made a massive impact, added a different dynamic to our bowling group and has given Australia something different to think about,” said Root.
Me getting out of bed tomorrow morning pic.twitter.com/dQ6FK91EWr— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) August 18, 2019
“It’s really pleasing to see someone come in on Test debut and really shake up things and live up to the hype – even some of the hype that he put on himself.
“He makes things happen when not many others in world cricket can. Such a unique action and way of bowling, and obviously natural pace, which is always going to be in the game on any surface.
“When you’ve got that and the skill of other guys around, it makes for a tasty combination and I think that’s one of the reasons why we always felt we were in the game tonight and always felt we could get a result right to the end there. It makes for a very interesting last three games.”
England will name their third Test squad on Monday morning, with the injured James Anderson (calf) expected to be absent again but potential additions to the fragile batting line-up.
For Australia the biggest issue now surrounds whether or not Smith takes the field in Leeds on Thursday.
That would be just four days after being diagnosed with a head injury, a worryingly brief turnaround given the nature of his exit from the last match.
Smith has already said he will aim to play in the game provided he gets the green light from Cricket Australia’s medical team, led by the specialist doctor Richard Saw.
A Cricket Australia statement released on Sunday evening read: “Steve Smith had a precautionary scan of his neck on Sunday which, as expected, cleared him of any structural damage.
“After the scan Steve returned to the team hotel to rest and he will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.”