While defending his comments against the foreign players who participated in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final on Sunday, where he called them phateechar (literal meaning: decrepit) cricketer turned politician Imran Khan said the word is a common cricketing term used locally.

During an interview in the program Capital Talk on Geo TV, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief explained that during his club cricket days in Lahore these terms were used for the “marginal players”.

“My intention was never to use these terms as derogatorily. These are mere club cricketing terms,” he said. “If I had used marginal in place of phateechar, nobody would have noticed it,” he said.

“Relu Katta (jack of all trades) is a player who neither bowls well nor bats well and phateechar is like a 12th man who cannot even get a position in his own national team,” Khan said.

Khan further talked about other terms like “Fokker” and “Jet”.

“My point was only that, cricketing leagues all over the world call foreign players because they will make positive impact on their domestic cricket and boost up the confidence of their younger cricketers,” Khan said. “And that is why only top players are roped in those leagues including IPL,” Khan asserted.

“And foreign players who came for PSL final in Lahore – excluding one or two – are those players who cannot even get into their own national Test teams,” Khan added.

On a question about Darren Sammy, Khan said that he is a very ‘popular’ player and captain of West Indian team but still he is not in the same class as Kevin Peiterson and Chris Gayle. “And the term I used was not even for Darren Sammy, I was talking about the foreign players which were later roped in for the final,” he explained.

While addressing accusations of being ‘racist’, Khan denied the allegation. “I have fought against racism throughout my life,” he asserted.

“Viv Richards and I were called to participate in domestic cricket of South Africa, but we both refused to play there because there was racism in that country. So how can I pass a racist comment?”