PSL spot-fixing row: Yousuf defends Sharjeel’s dot balls

Karachi [Pakistan], May 30 (ANI): Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has come in defence of Sharjeel Khan, who has been accused of spot-fixing by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), saying 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 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 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 case allegedly involving Sharjeel and Khalid Latif.
Sharjeel, Latif and Shahzaib Hasan are facing charges for a number of breaches of the anti-corruption code of the PCB while playing for their respective teams in the second edition of the PSL.
Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz, who were also accused, have already received their punishments and have been suspended for failing to report offers to fix.
Nasir Jamshed is other player involved in the scandal and his hearing in the case is yet to begin. (ANI)

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