The 2017 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) turned out to be a cursed one for Sharjeel Khan. The Pakistan left-handed batsman plied his trade for the Islamabad United and was found guilty of spot-fixing along with Khalid Latif. He was metered out with a ban of five years, but later, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Anti-Corruption Tribunal halved the period of suspension to 30 months.
In fact, the southpaw could be back in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, which starts in September. But a PCB official mentioned that Khan would be allowed to take part in the tournament if he admits to his involvement in the spot-fixing saga and apologizes for the same. There have also been speculations that Sharjeel could go on and don the prestigious national jersey yet again in his career.
However, Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan cricketer, didn’t mince any words in saying that there should be zero tolerance for ‘characters’ like Sharjeel Khan, who brought disrepute to Pakistan cricket. Even as he doesn’t want Sharjeel to make a comeback, he reckons that the current opening pair in limited-overs cricket- Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, will get better in the coming years.
How can society tolerate such a debate?
“I am really disappointed because have we not found any batsmen in the past two, three years, [and] we are bound to approach such characters [Sharjeel Khan] that tainted Pakistan cricket,” an animated Raja was quoted as saying in Business Recorder.
“How can society tolerate such a debate? These men don’t even learn from their mistakes and there is a trail of such absurdities giving a bad name to Pakistan. We should have zero tolerance on these things, and we [will] get the talent. In a year or so, our opening [pair] that is already doing well [will] get better,” the veteran added.
Sharjeel made his debut for Pakistan back in September 2013 in a T20 versus Afghanistan at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ever since, he has played one Test, 25 ODIs and 15 T20Is in which he racked up 44, 812 and 360 runs respectively. He last played for Pakistan in the away ODI series against Australia. In his last three international matches, he scored half-centuries.
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