Mohammad Yusuf: ‘Sharjeel didn’t play two dot balls on purpose’

Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif are two of the five players charged with spot-fixing and other related offences during the Pakistan Super League held in February and March earlier this year

The PCB has accused Sharjeel of agreeing to a spot-fixing plan and of failing to report an approach, charges punishable by a ban ranging from five years to life.   -  Getty Images

Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has come out in defence of Sharjeel Khan, who has been accused of spot-fixing by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), saying that the discarded batsman did not deliberately play two dot balls during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Opener.

The allegation relates to a match between Sharjeel’s team Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai in February in which the left-handed batsman scored a single off four deliveries including two dot balls.

Appearing before the three-member Anti-Corruption Tribunal probing the PSL spot-fixing scandal on Monday, Yousuf said, “I have played cricket myself and based on that experience, I can say that no one can play dot balls on purpose like this.”

“Sharjeel played both the balls on merit and he played forceful shots on both and one (stroke) could have resulted in a single. Had he wanted to play a dot ball, he would have either left it or played with a dead bat,” the Dawn quoted Yousuf as saying while he called for officials to present more proof, “or else don’t make fun of players.”

The PCB has accused Sharjeel of agreeing to a spot-fixing plan and of failing to report an approach, charges punishable by a ban ranging from five years to life.

Last week, Islamabad United coach Dean Jones had also defended the Pakistani batsman, saying the two balls were not suspicious from a cricketing perspective. Earlier on March 6, a three-member tribunal was formed by the PCB to investigate the spot-fixing allegations involving Sharjeel and Khalid Latif.

Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz, the other accused, have already been suspended for failing to report offers to fix. Nasir Jamshed is another player involved in the scandal and his hearing in the case is yet to begin.

  Dugout videos