PSL Spot-Fixing: Sharjeel Khan Played Two Balls According To Its Merit, Says Mohammad Yousuf
The former Pakistan stalwart Mohammad Yousuf has defended opener Sharjeel Khan by stating the two dot balls played by the left-handed opener in the inaugural match of Pakistan Super League (PSL) against Peshawar Zalmi on February 9 were not suspicious enough to lay charges Hyderabad-born batsman.
While giving his opinion as a cricket analyst, Yousuf was talking to the media persons as the three-member PCB-appointed Anti-Corruption Unit’s tribunal committee is hearing the spot-fixing cases charged against Sharjeel followed by Shahzaib Hasan (Karachi Kings), Nasir Jamshed and Khalid Latif (Islamabad United).
“He [Sharjeel Khan] could also have edged the ball. You all know how many boundaries are scored through edges. If there is no proof, I think that this matter should end here,” Yousuf remarked as Sharjeel has already termed the charges baseless and false.
Yousuf has further emphasised that if it would be asked to any of the senior cricketers to put up a perspective, in general, he wouldn’t find an inch of a doubt, in the two dot balls Sharjeel faced for Islamabad United.
“No good cricketer or batsman can say that Sharjeel had intentionally played the dot balls. He played it on merit,” Yousuf told reporters in Lahore.
The 42-year-old Lahore-born former Pakistan skipper Yousuf has categorically defended Sharjeel while testifying that it was not a deliberate attempt from Sharjeel in any manner.
Yousuf’s statement came after PSL franchise Islamabad United head coach Dean Jones has given his statement in favour of his ward Sharjeel, who has been provisionally suspended when the spot-fixing scandal surfaced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in February this year.
“I have played cricket myself and on that experience I can say that no one can play dot balls on purpose like this,” Yousuf maintained.
It’s pertinent to note the inaugural match of the third edition of PSL which is under the scanner, where Sharjeel faced four deliveries during his short stay at the crease, as he was able to register just a single before he was trapped plumb in front of the wickets by Hasan Ali.
“He could also have edged the ball. You all know how many boundaries are scored through edges. If there is no proof, I think that this matter should end here,” Yousuf explained to reporters.
The three-member committee which has been investigating the matter is headed by retired Lahore High Court judge Justice Asghar Haider Rizvi, as the investigation panel further includes the two other members in the form of ex-PCB chairman Tauqir Zia and former wicket-keeper batsman Wasim Bari.
“I have played cricket myself and on that experience I can say that no one can play dot balls on purpose like this,” Sharjeel started.
As Sharjeel was accused of playing two dot balls which further include the charge of meeting the bookie while failing to report the approaches to PCB’s ACU at the same time.
“In one ball, he (Sharjeel) tried to score a single as well, but he was denied by the non-striker end,” Yousuf added.
If found guilty, the 27-year-old hard-hitting sensation Sharjeel could face a minimum ban of five years which further ranges up to the life ban. Earlier fast bowler Mohammad Irfan and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz were banned for six months and two months, respectively for failing to report approaches from bookmakers.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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