PCB hands one-year ban to Nasir Jamshed

Lahore – Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) anti-corruption unit Monday banned former opener Nasir Jamshed for one year for obstructing and not cooperating with investigators in connection with a probe into a spot-fixing case.

Jamshed was allegedly the middle man between players and an alleged bookie but he has denied all the charges leveled against him. PCB legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi announced the verdict, saying the investigation into fixing charges was still under way.

“The three-member tribunal banned Jamshed for one year for non-cooperation with the investigation,” Rizvi said and added: “The PCB has not levelled any fixing charges on Jamshed as yet as there is another investigation under way against him in (the) UK.” Britain’s National Crime Agency arrested Jamshed and one unnamed person five days after the spot-fixing allegations surfaced during the second edition of the PSL in February.

Jamshed’s lawyer Hasan Warraich said the proceedings proved that the PCB had no proof against his client. “My client has been defamed nationally and internationally, and the reputation of the country has been damaged by the PCB’s actions. And ultimately, nothing comes of it. They kept saying they had multiple proofs against my client, and I challenged them to present those proofs to the media. They have consistently failed to do so, and nothing came of the FIA [Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency] report that they referred to.”

Rizvi said, however, this case was never about corruption, but specifically about demonstrating that Jamshed had failed to cooperate with the PCB. Jamshed appeared once in front of the tribunal in August, and that too via Skype from England. At the time he was unable to travel because his passport remains with the NCA. He had also not met with PCB officials when they went to the UK before that – circumstances which the PCB argued proved his non-cooperation.

“A narrative is being built that the PCB hasn’t presented any proof against Jamshed,” Rizvi said. “This case was simply a case about Jamshed’s failure to cooperate. No proof has been made public yet so that he doesn’t try to cover his tracks. If he is innocent, then shouldn’t he or his client have explained why his passport has been confiscated by the National Crime Agency in London? Why is he on bail over there?”

Jamshed has not played an international game for Pakistan since the 2015 World Cup. From Birmingham, Jamshed said he had little faith in the PCB’s investigation. “We have every confidence in the National Crime Agency,” he said at the time.

“But we have very little confidence in the PCB. How can we trust them? They have leaked information to the media, they have made up stories about me moving house to avoid the authorities – I’ve been here in Birmingham since January – and the tribunal they have formed to hear my case is made up of former PCB employees. How can that be independent?”

Former Pakistan opener Sharjeel Khan was banned for five years — with half of that sentence suspended — while his fellow teammate Khalid Latif was also banned for five years and fined one million rupees ($9,460) in the same case. Khan was charged for playing two dot balls during the PSL match between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi as part of a spot-deal struck by Latif. Spot-fixing is the practice of pre-determining the outcome of a specific part of a match in return for money.

Jamshed has played two Tests, 48 one-day internationals and 18 Twenty20 for Pakistan. He was last included in Pakistan’s World Cup 2015 squad as a replacement but was booed off by the crowd for being overweight and in poor form. Another former opener Shahzaib Hasan is also under investigation in the case. Paceman M Irfan (banned for one year) and spinner Mohammad Nawaz (banned for two months) have completed their sentences on not reporting fixing offers to the PCB.

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