KARACHI: Former Australian batsman Dean Jones, who is currently serving as coach of PSL franchise Islamabad United, has expressed deep disappointment over the league’s spot-fixing scandal and said the involvement of three key Islamabad players has hurt him beyond words.
Talking to Dawn News on telephone from Colombo, Jones said: “It was awful time for me and the entire team. We must keep educating the players and advise them that in case of any approach made from the bookies, they must notify the authorities no matter how absurd or how stupid the approach is.”
Jones said he doesn’t’ know about the current state of investigations made in the case of Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif and Mohammad Irfan and so would not like to comment on it at this stage. “I haven’t been told or briefed about them, but one thing should be clear that the players who donot follow the rules deserve the outcome,” he said.
“All I know at this point is the three players are about to be charged for something. But obviously it is serious.”
Commenting on the highly successful PSL final held in Lahore, Jones said he was mighty impressed with the security arrangements and the electrifying atmosphere of the event and will again come to Pakistan if any such event is staged.
“It was huge and a very successful event,” said Jones about the final. “Security arrangements were top class and up to the promise that PCB and the authorities made to us. Nearly all the overseas players who featured in the final were delighted to be a part and vowed to come again to Pakistan.”
“I have heard reports that almost two-third of the PSL matches next season will be held in Pakistan in 2018 and all of us would love to be there provided the security is of the same standard as this year,” said Jones. “Of course, your top brass of national leadership will have to be behind the PSL, like this time including the president, the prime minister and the army chief because one must bear in mind that just one untoward incident can spoil everything.”
Hailing the news of the proposed tour of a World X1 to Pakistan later this year, Jones said: “It is great news for Pakistan cricket but I am not aware if Giles Clarke will bring the team on behalf of ICC or the PCB? But the PCB and the Pakistan govt will of course have to spend a lot of money to make the required arrangements,” he observed.
Speaking about the talented young players in the PSL this season, Jones said: “Fine youngsters like Shadab Khan, Rumman Raees and few other are exciting cricketers. The PSL is providing the opportunity to many young lads to showcase their talent and few of them are surely making the most of this opportunity.”
Jones however emphasised that Pakistan national teams will have to improve their performance in world cricket, specially the fielding and fitness standards. “One thing i really like about the young kids of Pakistan in PSL is that most of them are very good in the field. In the past Pakistan really struggled in the fielding department but now things are improving. But more work should be done on fitness level of the players.”
Assessing the overall popularity and standard of the PSL, Jones said: “PSL is up there with any top T20 cricket league around the world at the moment, specially in terms of the foreign players. We have four foreign players in each PSL side while Big Bash League in Australia features just two in each team.”
“In my opinion there must not be another T20 domestic league or tournament in Pakistan and the profits from PSL must be spent to increase the standard of domestic cricket in the country.”