Judge turns down Younis demand for open hearing

Lahore: Younis Khan wants the hearing of his appeal against an indefinite ban on him to be heard in the presence of media but the Pakistan Cricket Board-appointed judge today turned down the demand after a heated argument with his lawyer.

When Justice (retd) Irfan Qadir abruptly announced the removal of a one-year ban on former captain Shoaib Malik, Younus` lawyer Ahmed Qayyum demanded that his client`s hearing be conducted in front of journalists.

Younis is in England playing for Surrey in the county circuit.

"The judge told me he would hold my hearing in camera and didn`t allow the media representatives Younis wants to attend his hearings," Qayyum said.

"Before the hearings I requested the judge to allow the media reps in but was told this was not possible as it was a confidential hearing. I was indirectly also told that the judge wanted to give a ruling on Younis Khan`s ban immediately behind closed doors but I refused," Qayyum said.

The lawyer explained that he would not accept any closed door decision as his client wants his case to be heard publicly. Qayyum said Younis is adamant that there is no reason to ban him.

"I wanted to give a ruling on Younis Khan`s appeal but his lawyer said he wanted more time to talk to his client," Justice Irfan Qadir told the media after the hearing.

"I want to wrap up these appeals because the board has made its stance clear to me now," he added.

Qayyum said his client wants the board to highlight the evidence on the basis of which he was banned.

"Now they are saying it is not a ban and the Chairman of the board can include him (Younus) anytime in the team. But my client is adamant that he wants his case to be heard openly because he has done nothing wrong," Qayyum said.

The hearing took an ugly turn when an argument ensued between Qayyum and Irfan Qadir over allowing the media into the hearings.

Eventually Qadir warned Qayyum against "behaving rudely" and threatened to report him for misconduct to the Punjab Bar Council.

PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi told PTI that Qayyum was himself complicating Younus` case.

"He has filed several applications which are not relevant and is not arguing about provision of relief to his client which is why the appeals judge can`t reach a decision," Rizvi said.

But Qayyum pointed out that Younis had requested the judge to give him interim relief from the ban but his request was not upheld.

"My client wants the truth to come out my client wants the board to show the evidence on basis of which they banned him," he said.

Sources said that Qayyum had spoken to Younis and briefed him about the hearing and there were chances the former captain might go to the high court.

"I asked the appeals judge to give me sometime to speak to Younis and to resume the hearing today after two hours but this was rejected as well," Qayyum stated.

The appeals judge has set June 5 as the next date of hearing for Younus` appeal. The senior batsman is in the list of 35 probables announced for the Asia Cup and the tour to England.



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