PSL 2019

PCB files cybercrime complaint over ‘inappropriate’ social media posts

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has filed a complaint with the cybercrime unit of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over inappropriate social media posts targeting Chief Executive Wasim Khan. The complaint was filed against former governing board members Shakeel Shaikh, Noman Butt and Tariq Sarwar.

A PCB representative claimed that the board was not against free speech but would not stand for inappropriate remarks. All three individuals were asked to appear for a hearing on May 29 in Lahore; however, they excused themselves from it citing the late dispatch of notices as the reason. A new date is now expected to be set for the hearing.

According to sources, the notice refers to inappropriate language used by Shakeel Shaikh against Wasim Khan on Twitter and YouTube. The same was done in an interview with a local TV channel.

A Tweet claimed that Khan received a monthly salary of PKR26,50,000. If the PCB ends his contract before three years, then the board will have to pay a year’s salary. A comment was also made on Khan’s Leicestershire county days and his performance was called ‘unsatisfactory’.

The notice states that these comments created a negative perception for Khan and his work. Noman Butt and Tariq Sarwar have also been called out for the use of inappropriate language against Khan.

The PCB representative verified the existence of the notices while claiming that the board was not against the freedom of speech, citing negative media coverage as an example.  However, the representative stressed that appropriate language needed to be used which was not the case in this incident. Pakistan has laws safeguarding the rights of individuals and officials in these circumstances which is why the board reached out to the cybercrime department of the FIA.

Meanwhile, former legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar has been called for a hearing by the cybercrime unit of the FIA on June 5 for spreading propaganda and false allegations against the PCB. The hearing was scheduled after the PCB’s legal cell approached the FIA with a complaint. The former pacer has been accused of making comments against the PCB’s system which creates a negative perception of the board both domestically and internationally.