Yorkshire man involved in cricket bribery scandal to be sentenced next year

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A Yorkshire man who admitted his part in a plot to bribe cricketers will be sentenced next year.

Mohammed Ijaz, 34, from Sheffield, and Yousef Anwar, 36, from Slough - described as the ringleader - had both admitted conspiracy to commit bribery for their roles in the plot.

Nasir Jamshaid (left) and Yousaf Anwar (right) will also be sentenced alongside Yorkshire man Mohammed Ijaz. Credit: NCA

Nasir Jamshaid (left) and Yousaf Anwar (right) will also be sentenced alongside Yorkshire man Mohammed Ijaz. Credit: NCA

Professional cricketer Nasir Jamshaid, 33, from Walsall, who has represented Pakistan more than 60 times, had been on trial at Manchester Crown Court but changed his plea to guilty on December 9.

All three will be sentenced on a date to be fixed in February.

Opening the case, prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC said an undercover police officer infiltrated the spot-fixing network by posing as a member of a corrupt betting syndicate.

His work led to the uncovering of an attempted fix in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) towards the end of 2016 and an actual fix in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in February 2017.

In both cases, an opening batsman in the Twenty20 tournaments had agreed to not score runs from the first two balls of an over in return for payment.

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Jamshaid was said to be the target of bribery in the Bangladesh "two dot ball" plan.

He then turned perpetrator as a go-between who encouraged other players to spot-fix at a PSL fixture between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on February 9.

The authorities were tipped off about the agreement and allowed the game to go ahead as opening batsman Sharjeel Khan purposely scored no runs off the first two balls of the second over.

Mr Thomas told the jury the case arose out of an investigation by the National Crime Agency and that the undercover operative was introduced to Anwar, who was suspected of involvement in bribery and match-fixing in international cricket.

Their first meeting was at a hotel in Slough in November 2016 where Anwar said he had six players working for him in the BPL.

Anwar freely admitted being involved in spot-fixing for about 10 years, said Mr Thomas, and went on to discuss spot-fix fees with payment split between players and fixers.

At a further meeting at the same hotel, Anwar told the officer the names of his players including Jamshaid and fellow opening batsman Sharjeel Khan, who both played for the Rangpur Riders.

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Jamshaid later went on to agree to undertake a two dot ball fix in a match against Dhaka Dynamites, the court heard, but it was called off when the batsman did not give all the pre-arranged signals - which included the use of certain coloured batting grips.

Another match on December 3 against Barisal Bulls was identified but Jamshaid did not play as he was dropped from the team as the BPL season ended.

In January 2017, Anwar met up with the undercover officer and Jamshaid at a restaurant in Birmingham, the court was told, where Khan and a team-mate, Khalid Latif, were lined up for the next fix in the PSL.

Messages were sent between Anwar and Jamshaid immediately before and after the fix took place, which included discussions about payment, the court heard.

Players including Khan were challenged by the authorities after the game and statements were taken and mobile phones were seized, Mr Thomas said.

When Latif's bag was searched, a number of coloured grips - brought from the UK to Dubai by Anwar - were found, the prosecutor added.

Last year Jamshaid was banned from playing cricket for 10 years following an investigation by the Pakistan Cricket Board's anti-corruption unit. Khan and Latif both received five-year bans.

Ian McConnell, NCA senior investigating officer, said: "These men abused their privileged access to professional, international cricket to corrupt games, eroding public confidence for their own financial gain.

"Tackling corruption and bribery in its various forms is a priority for the National Crime Agency. We will vigorously pursue those involved and target their illicit profits which are so often used to fund further criminality."