The former Pakistan batsman Naseer Jamshed has been sentenced to 17 months for his part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing scandal on Friday (Feb 07).
The 30-year-old cricketer was arrested along with British nationals Yousef Anwar and Mohammed Ijaz. Anwar and Ijaz were sent to prison for 40 and 30 months, respectively. The trio admitted to their roles in the conspiracy following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Jamshed had tried to encourage players to under-perform in a PSL game played between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on February 2018. For this, he was supposed to receive GBP (an abbreviation for the British pound) 30,000. He constrained Sharjeel Khan to play two customized dots off the first two balls of Islamabad’s second over.
After this, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) banned Sharjeel for five years. PCB also forbade another cricketer, Khalid Latif, who was working with Jamshed for a future fix.
Initially, Jamshed denied the bribery charges but later changed his plea to guilty during the trial in December. Not only this, during the investigation of the case, the police officials also found out an attempt to fix a Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) match at the end of 2016.
“By far the most insidious consequence of these offenses 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 as quoted by Cricbuzz.
“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,” added Judge Richard.
“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,” Judge Richard added further.
Meanwhile, Jamshed’s wife Samara Afzal has reacted to the news and issued a statement on Twitter, narrating the pain that her family is suffering due to Jamshed.
“Today is the most difficult day of my life as Nasir starts his custodial sentence & I figure out what to tell my 4 year old.. I’ve felt the need to write this in the hope that others learn from Nasirs mistakes & no one goes through the pain we have suffered in the last 3 years,” Samara tweeted.
Today is the most difficult day of my life as Nasir starts his custodial sentence & I figure out what to tell my 4 year old.. I’ve felt the need to write this in the hope that others learn from Nasirs mistakes & no one goes through the pain we have suffered in the last 3 years. pic.twitter.com/fgkkMiglgz
— Dr Samara Afzal (@SamaraAfzal) February 7, 2020
“Nasir could have had a bright future had he worked hard and been committed to the sport than gave him so much, but he took a short cut and lost everything, his career, status, respect and freedom,” Samara’s statement read.
“He would have got UK nationality and played county cricket, and he threw his chance away. He would do anything to turn the clock back and not lose everything, especially his daughter who he is very close to, but it’s too late for him. I hope all cricketers look at his example as a deterrent against corruption.”
Jamshed played 2 Tests, 48 ODIs, and 18 T20Is for Pakistan. Last year, he was banned for 10-years from playing the game by the PCB’s anti-corruption unit.