LONDON: Pakistan left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed was arrested on Tuesday by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) alongside a bookie named Mohammad Yousuf. According to the representative of the NCA, Jamshed and Yousuf have been released on bail and asked to report to the agency in April. “Two men in their thirties have been arrested by NCA officers in connection with bribery offences as part of an ongoing investigation into international cricket match spot-fixing,” read a press release on the NCA website. “The men were arrested on Monday 13 February and have been released on bail until April 2017 pending further enquiries. As part of the on-going investigation we are working closely with the Pakistan Cricket Board and International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption units. The PCB has launched its own investigation which has resulted in the suspension of three players,” the statement further read.
Jamshed, who is accused of referring Islamabad United’s duo Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif to Yousuf, has been provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket by the PCB. Pakistan Super League (PSL) chairman Najam Sethi on Monday tweeted the news about his suspension. Unlike Sharjeel and Khalid – the two Islamabad United players who have already been sent back from the league for alleged breaches of the anti-corruption code – Jamshed was not part of any PSL franchise. The PCB had named three other players who were questioned in the fallout: Islamabad United’s Mohammad Irfan, Quetta Gladiators’ Zulfiqar Babar and Shahzaib Hasan of the Karachi Kings. None of them, however, faced the prospect of immediate provisional suspension. Shahzaib’s questioning, according to his team Karachi Kings, was the result of his reporting an approach to the PCB and Quetta are understood to have volunteered Babar for questioning to clear his name as it had also emerged during speculation.
Not that long ago, Jamshed was Pakistan’s first-choice opener in limited-overs cricket, and with three ODI hundreds against India between March 2012 and January 2013, one with a potentially long career ahead of him. Since then, however, a dip in form and confidence has pushed him to the periphery. Between the end of the India series in January 2013 and the start of the 2015 World Cup, Jamshed scored 458 runs at an average of 19.91 with only two fifties, featuring in 23 of Pakistan’s 50 ODIs in this period. Before this, he had averaged 50.26 in 22 ODIs since his debut, scoring 955 runs, with three centuries and six fifties. His last appearances for Pakistan were miserable ones at the World Cup: he made only five runs in three matches. An indicator of how far he has fallen was evident by his absence from the PSL in both seasons. Overall, Jamshed has played two Tests, both against South Africa in February 2013. In 48 ODIs between 2008 and 2015, he scored 1418 runs at 31.51. Jamshed played only 18 T20 internationals, scoring 363 runs.