Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed was sentenced on Friday (February 7) to 17 months in jail for his part in a spot-fixing scandal where he conspired to bribe fellow cricketers. He was arrested along with British nationals Yousef Anwar and Mohammed Ijaz, as the trio admitted to their roles in the conspiracy following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA). While Jamshed copped 17 months, Anwar was sentenced to 40 months, while Ijaz was handed 30 months.
Jamshed was found guilty of encouraging players to underperform in a Pakistan Super League (PSL) game between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai in February 2018 in return for a share of GBP 30,000. The three defendants were subsequently jailed after admitting to their bribery offences. During the investigation, an attempt to fix a Bangladesh Premier League match at the end of 2016, was also uncovered by a police official who posed as a member of a corrupt betting syndicate. Jamshed was initially targeted in the two-dot-ball BPL plan, but it was later called off.
Jamshed, however, encouraged players to spot-fix in the PSL fixture thereafter. He coerced Sharjeel Khan to play two customised dots off the first two balls of Islamabad’s second over. The PCB subsequently banned Sharjeel for five years, as they did with Khalid Latif, another player who was working with Jamshed for a future fix. Jamshed, who had played 2 Tests, 48 ODIs and 18 Twenty20Is for Pakistan, had initially denied the bribery charges but changed his plea to guilty during the trial in December.
“By far the most insidious consequence of these offences is the undermining of public confidence in the integrity of the sporting contest, not simply in the individual match directly affected but in the game of cricket generally,” Judge Richard Mansell QC said during their sentencing at the Manchester Crown Court. “Corruption of this kind has sadly been taking place in the game of cricket for a very long time.
“If anything it has become worse due to the proliferation in the last decade of hugely popular televised international T20 tournaments in all the major cricketing nations, combined with a huge increase in online gambling. What makes cricket, and specifically these T20 tournaments in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, so vulnerable to corrupt practices, is the existence of a huge, largely unregulated online betting industry in the Indian sub-continent,” he added.