Friday, 18 October 2019

Jamshed, two alleged match fixers appear in British court

LONDON: A former Test cricketer accused of plotting to fix matches in Pakistan’s Twenty/20 Super League faced court today. Nasir Jamshed is accused of bribery and was charged along with two others after the National Crime Agency probed claims players were offered money to throw games.

The 32-year-old left-handed batsman represented Pakistan in two test matches plus 45 One Day Internationals and 18 Twenty/20 games. He appeared today alongside Britons Yousaf Anwar, 35, and Mohammed Ijaz, 33, who were also arrested in February 2017 as part of an investigation into alleged spot-fixing of tournaments in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Mr Jamshed, of Dudley, West Midlands faced one charge of offering bribes between November 2016 and February 2017.

He allegedly conspired with Mr Anwar to ‘offer financial advantages to professional cricket players taking part in the Pakistan Premier League with the intention of inducing those players to perform their professional duties improperly by failing to play competitive cricket matches in good faith’.

Mr Anwar of Hayes, West London, and Mr Ijaz, of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, are also accused of offering bribes to Pakistan and Bangladesh league players. Mr Jamshed was dressed in a grey check coat over black trousers while Mr Anwar wore a full navy suit with a dark red tie and Mr Ijaz sported a full light grey suit with waistcoat.

The three men spoke to confirm their personal details. Prosecutors said the case could only be dealt with by the crown court. All three defence lawyers made no representations and the suspects were bailed following a brief hearing to face Manchester Crown Court on February 12. Mr Jamshed made his first-class debut at the age of just 15 and was soon selected to the Pakistan Under-19 cricket team for a series against Sri Lanka, making 204 in the second innings on his debut.

At Twenty20 level, he made his debut for the Lahore Lions in April 2005, at the age of 15 years and 140 days, making him the then youngest ever player to play in Twenty20 matches. He scored a total of 3,178 runs in limited overs cricket – 1806 of those in ODI and twenty/20 internationals.

Mr Anwar has played club cricket as a batsman in the north of England for teams such as Cheetham Hill in Manchester and is known to be friendly with a number of Pakistan cricketers.

The PSL tournament involves England one-day captain Eoin Morgan along with Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Chris Jordan and Tymal Mills. There is no suggestion any England players are implicated or have done anything wrong.

In 2011, Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were found guilty of taking bribes to fix part of a test match against England in a case that prosecutors said revealed rampant corruption at the heart of international cricket. A third cricketer, Mohammad Amir, admitted his part in the scam, which involved deliberately bowling no-balls at pre-arranged times, before the trial started.

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