Former Pakistan cricketer jailed over match-fixing

10 February 2020

Nasir Jamshed, a former professional cricket player for the Pakistan national team, has been sentenced to 17 months in jail for his part in a match-fixing scheme.

Manchester Crown Court made the ruling after hearing that Jamshed of Oldbury, near Birmingham in the UK, was part of a group that bribed other cricketers to fix elements of international matches.

British nationals Yousaf Anwar from Hayes and Mohammad Ijaz from Sheffield were also jailed for three years and four months and two years and six months respectively for their roles in the operation.

National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators found that the group were plotting to fix elements of the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League T20 event, which Jamshed had been due to play in.

Anwar and Ijaz had developed a system where they would identify a professional player willing to partake in an agreed fix, with the player giving signal at the start of the match to confirm the fix would go ahead. The pair would typically charge £30,000 (€35,417/$38,783) per fix, with half of the fee going to the player.

According to the NCA, Jamshaid, Anwar and Ijaz in 2017 made further plans to fix Pakistan Super League games being played in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In February 2017, Anwar flew to Dubai to meet other players, including Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan of Islamabad United, who both agreed to help influence elements of a game.

Prior to travelling, Anwar was caught on CCTV purchasing 28 different coloured cricket bat handle grips in St Albans, where he gave Ijaz’s name and address for the receipt. These grips would be used by the players to signal that the fix was to go ahead.

The fixture in question was between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on 9 February 2017. Latif had originally agreed to the fix, but it was Khan who entered the crease after five hours of play displaying the signal.

Khan proceeded to carry out the agreed 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.

Jamshed was arrested by NCA officers at his home in Birmingham four days after the 2017 game, with Anwar and Ijaz also detained soon after.

The Pakistan Cricket Board also suspended Jamshaid, Latif, Khan and a fourth player, Mohammed Irfan, following subsequent tribunal hearings.

“These men abused their privileged access to professional, international cricket to corrupt games, eroding public confidence for their own financial gain,” NCA senior investigating officer Ian McConnell said.

“I would like the thank the England and Wales Cricket Board, International Cricket Council, Gambling Commission and Pakistan Cricket Board for their ongoing support throughout this investigation.

“Tackling corruption and bribery in its various forms is a priority for the NCA. We will vigorously pursue those involved, and target their illicit profits which are so often used to fund further criminality.”