COLOMBO - Islamabad United coach and former Australian cricketer Dean Jones said he was extremely disheartened when he learned that three United players were being questioned over their alleged involvement in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 spot-fixing scandal.

However, he added that if players "cannot or will not (follow the rules), well, they deserve what they get."

Speaking to a website from Colombo via telephone, Jones remarked that as the defending champions this season, the entire team had affected by the spot-fixing scandal.

"It was an awful time... It really hurt us," he said. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) suspended Mohammad Irfan, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif under its Anti-Corruption Code as part of an ongoing investigation into an international syndicate believed to be attempting to corrupt the PSL. All three players were part of the Islamabad United team in the second edition of the PSL.

Jones regretted that although players are educated repeatedly about the rules, these incidents continue to happen. "We keep educating players and advising players that if you have been approached, you must, you must ? non-negotiable ? you must notify the (relevant) authorities," the coach emphasised.

He further stressed that "no matter how absurd or how stupid" a suspected bookie's approach is, players must inform the relevant authorities.

Jones said that he is not aware of the details of allegations against Khan, Latif and Irfan. But he said that if players do not abide by the rules, they must prepare to face the music. He explained that he had the same views regarding charges against West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell who was banned for a doping rule violation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) earlier this year.

"I had the (same) problem with Andre Russell, that he's being charged for a doping violation (because) he did not notify WADA (about) where he's going," the Islamabad United coach said.

"Now how much more information (can we give), how much more can we do as a coach, as a franchise to educate players that they must abide by the rules," Jones added, saying if the players are still "being flippant about them or ignoring them, they will get hurt badly".

"And that's what is happening," he added.

When asked whether Irfan, who was with him throughout the tournament, had given him any information about being approached by bookies, Jones said that it is not his job to ask about these things. "It's the ACU's role and PCB's role to ask questions like that. My role is to make sure that he performs well for Islamabad," the coach added.

Jones said his role is to educate players and inform them of which authorities they must report their concerns or violations to. "We can't do any more than that. It is not my role. My role is to coach."