Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday suspended contract of Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Irfan for one year on violation of its anti-corruption code.
The giant 34-year-old's worldwide career could now be over after he admitted the charges levelled against him and was banned for 12 months, half of which will be suspended if no further breaches of the PCB code are made in the next year and no other previous offences come to light.
To make things worse, Irfan's central contract has been terminated and he won't be offered a new one within the first six months of his ban, which started on March 14 as that was the day he was suspended by the PCB.
Irfan, along with Shahzaib Hasan and Zulfiqar Babar, was initially questioned by the PCB's anti-corruption unit during the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League, but was allowed to continue playing in the tournament.
"I am formally asking the nation for their forgiveness and hope that I will be pardoned by them", Irfan said, concluding his brief address.
Azam says Irfan's suspension could be reduced to six months if he doesn't further violate the anti-corruption code. "I admit my mistake for not reporting".
The PCB had suspended the fast bowler on March 14 following the authority's investigations into spot-fixing allegations against several players.
It is also being reported that Irfan might have reached an agreement with the Board's ACU under which he has shown willingness to share all details off the spot-fixing scandal in the PSL and also point out the players and bookmakers involved in the racket.
Irfan, Khalid and Sharjeel all played for Islamabad United in the PSL.
Irfan made headlines for his extraordinary height - seven feet and one inch or 216 centimetres - when he made his global debut in 2010 and stands as the tallest-ever player to feature in world cricket.
Irfan, 34, has 84 global caps across the formats and last played for Pakistan in a one-day worldwide against England at Headingley six months ago.