ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has said that calling foreign cricketers ‘phateechar’ was not meant to degrade them, as it was one of the ‘pure cricketing terms’ of his time.

He stated this during an interview in a Geo News program ‘Capital Talk’ with anchorperson Hamid Mir on Tuesday. He denied having used derogatory or racist comment.

“We used the terms like Relu Katta, Fokker or Jet to describe marginalised cricketers, when we used to play at Lahore Gymkhana,” he said. “We referred Relu Katta to a player who would both bowl and bat, but would not perform either way.”

Imran Khan, famous for his comments once again stirred controversy by terming the international players as ‘phateechar’ (garbage) on Tuesday.

The cricketer turned politician in an informal press talk opined that the international players who showed their skills in PSL final were simply unknown.

‘I don’t know even the name of any of these so-called foreign players. It seems they were just picked up from anywhere like Africa. And, they are called foreign players’ he said.

During the interview with Hamid Mir, Khan added that most of the overseas players in the PSL were not world-class cricketers.

Although appreciating Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen, he stopped short of honouring Darren Sammy – who also happened to be the captain of PSL 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi – along with them.

“Sammy captained Peshawar; he is popular, but he is not among class of top-level cricketers,” he said, adding the term ‘phateecher’ was not meant for Darren Sammy at all.

“Had Chris Gayle come, had Kevin Pietersen come, I would have said they were international stars.”