Sharjeel appeal against spot-fixing ban rejected

Pakistan’s Sharjeel Khan in action. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 09 November 2017
0

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.


Toni Kroos dismisses Mesut Ozil's claims of racism in Germany World Cup camp

Updated 16 August 2018
0

Toni Kroos dismisses Mesut Ozil's claims of racism in Germany World Cup camp

  • Germany still in turmoil after early World Cup exit and Ozil's claims of racism.
  • Loew's side set to face France next month in first match after Russia tournament.

Germany midfielder Toni Kroos says Mesut Ozil was “out of order” to make accusations of racism within the German set up as he retired from international football last month.
“Basically, Mesut is a long-serving national team player and deserved a better exit as a footballer,” Kroos, 28, told German daily Bild.
“I have played with Mesut for many years and know that he is a nice guy. But the way he retired was out of order.
“The proportion of his statement which was fair and justified was unfortunately overshadowed by a much higher proportion of nonsense.
“I think he himself knows that racism does not exist within the national team and the DFB.
“On the contrary, we are always committed to diversity and integration. Mesut was a good example of that, like many of our team mates.”
Ozil, 29, created a furor last month when he retired from international football in an explosive three-part statement in which he accused German FA (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel of racism.
“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” wrote Ozil, sparking a storm in Germany and triggering fierce debate about integration.
Ozil fell foul of German fans and was booed during pre-World Cup friendlies after he and fellow midfielder Ilkay Gundogan posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, raising questions about the pair’s loyalty to Germany.
Only a handful of Germany players have spoken about the saga, which captain Manuel Neuer described as “stressful” while Thomas Mueller said there is “no question of racism within the team.”
Real Madrid star Kroos says Arsenal midfielder Ozil, who like Gundogan has Turkish roots, was wrong to meet with Erdogan and then wait two months before breaking his silence.
“Mesut was criticized for the photo — and rightly so,” said Kroos. “And he missed the chance to explain himself.
“Nevertheless, he was completely supported by the coaching staff and the (national) team.
“Later he was — like the rest of us — criticized for the performance at the World Cup.
“The type of criticism was certainly not always at a good (justified) level — but then you have to deal with that as a player.”
In the first game since their World Cup debacle, Germany, who have plummeted to 15th in the FIFA rankings, will host world champions France in Munich on Sept. 6 in the newly-launched Nations League tournament.
Germany head coach Joachim Loew has promised sweeping changes and Kroos has resisted the urge to retire.
“Yes, I will continue until Euro 2020 and have set the big goal that we will be far more successful than last time,” said Kroos.
Fellow German midfielder Sami Khedira, 31, also ruled out retirement on Thursday and hopes for a call-up against France to make amends for the World Cup disaster.
“After a good season with Juventus, I played my two worst matches at the World Cup with full fitness. That was really bad,” Khedira, wrote on Instagram.
However, Kroos says the squad Loew selects on Aug. 29 must find the necessary drive that was so badly missing in Russia.
“We have to be greedy and more forceful again, as far as goal-scoring is concerned,” added Kroos.
“And we have to be more unpleasant to play against in terms of defense — without just defending.”
Loew welcomed Kroos’ decision to stay on.
“With his experience, class and personality, he is of course a key player who plays a very important role in our future plans — on and off the pitch,” reacted Loew on dfb.de.
However, the head coach has yet to comment on the Ozil fiasco.