LONDON: Former national cricketer Nasir Jamshaid was sentenced to 17 months of imprisonment on Friday by a Manchester Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe other players to spot-fix in a Twenty20 match.
In the same case, Mohammed Ijaz was sentenced to 30 months and Yousaf Anwar to three years and four months for conspiracy and bribery.
Following a covert investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in 2017, Jamshaid admitted bribing cricketers to fix elements of international matches.
In December 2019, 32-year-old Jamshaid, who was living in Oldbury in the West Midlands, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
He joins British nationals Yousaf Anwar, 35, from Hayes in West London, and Mohammad Ijaz, 33, from Sheffield, who also admitted to their roles in the conspiracy on December 2, 2019.
Jamshaid played 48 one-day internationals for Pakistan and two Test matches from 2008 to 2015.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the NCA three years ago to allow intelligence sharing so that cricket could benefit from the greater investigatory powers of police.
In a statement, the NCA said its investigators used an undercover officer to identify that the group were plotting to fix elements of the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 tournament which Jamshaid was due to play in.
Anwar and Ijaz had developed a system which helped them identify a professional player willing to partake in an agreed fix. The player would signal at the start of the match to confirm the fix was on.
Typically, they would charge £30,000 per fix with half of that going to the player.
The following year, the three men made further plans to fix the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches being played in Dubai. In February 2017 Anwar flew out to Dubai to meet other professional players, including Islamabad United teammates Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan, who agreed to play their part in corrupting elements of a game.
Before flying out to join them, Anwar was captured on CCTV purchasing 28 different coloured cricket bat handle grips from a wholesalers in St Albans where he gave Ijaz’s name and address for the receipt. These would subsequently be used by the players as the signal to show the fix was going ahead.
The PSL fixture between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi was played in Dubai on February 9, 2017. Despite Latif originally agreeing to the fix, it was Khan who entered the crease almost five hours into the game displaying the pre-agreed signal.
Khan then carried out the fix, playing two dot balls in the first two balls of the second over, before getting out leg before wicket for 0 in the third ball of the over.
On February 13, 2017 Jamshaid was arrested by NCA officers at his home, and Anwar was arrested at Heathrow Airport after flying back from Dubai. Ijaz was detained at his home in Sheffield ten days later.
Jamshaid, Latif, Khan, and a fourth player, Mohammed Irfan, were all suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board following subsequent tribunal hearings. In August 2018, PCB’s legal adviser confirmed that Jamshaid was banned for 10 years. Khan, who was found guilty on five accounts by the PCB’s anti-corruption unit, was slapped with a five-year suspended ban by the board.
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2020