A trio of cricket players, including a former batsman for Pakistan, have appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court charged with attempting to financially bribe a number of professional cricketers – making it the first instance of British police investigating alleged cricket corruption overseas.
Nasir Jamshed, an opening batsman for Pakistan, played two test matches from 2008-2015, as well as 48 one-day internationals for the Pakistani side.
The charges, read out by the court clerk, stated: “They conspired together to offer financial advantages to professional cricket players with the intention of inducing those players to perform their professional duties improperly by failing to play competitive cricket matches in good faith.”
In 2015, the International Cricket Council signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Agency which would facilitate the sharing of intelligence. The deal meant that cricket would benefit from increased investigatory powers of the police in a bid to clamp down on corruption in the sport.
Jamshed’s single charge is in relation to match-fixing allegations made at the time of his Pakistan Premier League tenure. Meanwhile the other defendants, Yousef Anwar and Mohammed Ijaz, faced charges pertaining to time playing in both Pakistan and Bangladesh Premier Leagues.
The ICC has, in recent years, been petitioning for more governments to clamp down on match-fixing and other forms of corruption. This case will be the first to be taken to court since the 2012 imprisonment of Mervyn Westfield, who was charged with spot-fixing.
“Most of our efforts now are on disrupting the criminals and this means persuading governments to introduce legislation that can make attempts to fix cricket matches a criminal offence, so that those types of people are put behind bars,” said Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive.
The alleged offences date back to November 2016 and February 2017.