Sharjeel appeal against spot-fixing ban rejected

Pakistan’s Sharjeel Khan in action. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 09 November 2017
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Sharjeel appeal against spot-fixing ban rejected

LAHORE: An appeal by fast-rising Pakistan opener Sharjeel Khan against a five-year ban over spot-fixing was rejected this week with his lawyer Thursday vowing to challenge the decision in a higher court.
Sharjeel, 28, was banned for five years, two-and-a-half of them suspended, in August following an investigation by a three-member Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tribunal.
The scandal surfaced during the second edition of the Pakistan Super League in February this year. The league was held in the United Arab Emirates with the final staged in Lahore.
One-man adjudicator Justice Faqir Khokhar upheld the ban late Wednesday and also rejected the PCB’s appeal to increase the punishment, which can range from five years to a life ban according to the anti-corruption code.
“The decision is disappointing and we will definitely go to the high court after knowing on what grounds our appeal was rejected,” Sharjeel’s lawyer Shaigan Ijaz told AFP.
“The PCB has not been able to prove the spot-fixing and that has halted a promising career.”
At the time of the ban, Sharjeel had played one Test, 25 one-day internationals and 15 Twenty20s for Pakistan. He was also contracted by English county Leicestershire and was in line for getting more contracts in Twenty20 leagues around the world.
Sharjeel was charged with deliberately playing two dot balls — deliveries off which no run is scored — in his team Islamabad United’s opening match against Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai.
Spot-fixing involves determining the outcome of a specific part of a match rather than the overall result, and is, therefore, harder to detect than match-fixing.
His fellow opener Khalid Latif was banned for five years and fined one million rupees (10,000 dollars) for orchestrating the deal with a bookie.
Paceman Mohammad Irfan and spinner Mohammad Nawaz were banned for one year and two months respectively over not reporting fixing offers.
Two other players — Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed — are also under investigation by the tribunal.
The latest hearing in that case was due to wrap up later Thursday.


WHAT WE LEARNED IN NFL WEEK 10: Brilliant Bears and terrific Titans

Updated 14 November 2018
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WHAT WE LEARNED IN NFL WEEK 10: Brilliant Bears and terrific Titans

We are over halfway in the NFL season and getting a better picture of who is in the running for January’s Playoffs. Arab News looks at what we learned from Week 10 of the world’s greatest gridiron league.

BEARS ON THE RISE
Whisper it, but the Chicago Bears could go a long way this season. It is fair to say, Chi-Town’s football team has been a blotch on the city’s sporting record in recent decades. Since the Bears’ defensive masterclass won them a Super Bowl in 1985, the iconic Bulls in the NBA, the rise and rise of the Blackhawks in ice hockey and the White Sox and Cubs winning a World Series have rendered them the poor cousins of Chicago’s sporting scene. But this current crop have really stepped up this season and, after yet another victory this week, find themselves in the unfamiliar position of leading the NFC North division. They might not get to the Big Game, but this Bears team is finally one the city can be proud of.

PENALTIES DECIDE FORTUNES
One of the big factors in this season’s surprise package LA Rams’ success has been their discipline. Coming into Week 10, the Rams had given away just 45 penalties, an average of five per game — second fewest in the league. So, that they gave away 10 infractions this weekend and nearly lost a tight game with the Seahawks, highlights just how important staying on the referee’s good side is to a team with serious Super Bowl ambitions. You can have a quality quarterback, rapid running backs and titanic tight-ends — if the discipline is not there, it will cost you a run at the Super Bowl.

CLEVELAND BROWNS ARE ALIVE
There is life in Cleveland, at last. Not since 2015 have the Browns won three games in a season. And with 6 games left in the season, they could win a fourth of the season for the first time in four years. Their 28-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons this weekend showed that this Browns team is packed-full of talent, but is lacking the right guidance. General Manager John Dorsey should use the highlights of this match in his search for a new head coach, as the Browns did not look like a 3-1-6 team, but needs the right man to guide it to respectability. Meanwhile, the defeat for the Falcons has put them on the brink of becoming also-rans for the Playoffs, they realistically need to win six — perhaps all seven — of their remaining games.

TITANS SHOW US THEIR WORTH
Tennessee have been hovering on the outskirts of Playoff contention all year, and their shock dismantling of the New England Patriots gave as an insight into what this team is really capable of. Mike Vrabel’s defense were all over Tom Brady from the kick-off and relentlessly pressured him all game. They got lucky at times — Josh Gordon’s uncharacteristic dropped passes helped — and made sure they capitalized when they stopped the Patriots offense. This Titans team burst out of the blocks and rushed past the Patriots early, taking a 17-3 lead. It just shows, take the game to the Patriots early and their defensive frailties can be exploited.