Sheffield man and two others jailed for role in fixing cricket matches

A Sheffield man has been jailed after admitting his role in bribing cricketers to fix elements of international matches.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 2:11 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 2:59 pm

Mohammad Ijaz, aged 34, from Sheffield, was sentenced to two years and six months at Manchester Crown Court after an undercover investigation by the National Crime Agency, which involved ex-professional Pakistani cricketer Nasir Jamshaid.

Jamshaid 33, from Oldbury, Yousaf Anwar, aged 36, from Hayes, and Ijaz, all admitted their roles in the conspiracy.

Yesterday (February 7) at Manchester Crown Court, Jamshaid, Anwar and Ijaz were sentenced to 17 months, 3 years and 4 months, and 2 years and 6 months respectively.

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L- Anwar, R- Nasir
L- Anwar, R- Nasir

Using an undercover officer, NCA investigators identified that the group were plotting to fix elements of the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament which Jamshaid was due to play in.

Anwar and Ijaz would identify a professional player willing to partake in an agreed fix, and the player would signal at the start of the match to confirm the fix was on.

Typically, they would charge £30,000 per fix with half of that going to the player.

The following year, the three men made further plans to fix Pakistan Super League matches being played in Dubai.

In February 2017 Anwar flew out to Dubai to meet with other players, including Islamabad United teammates Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan, who agreed to play their part in corrupting elements of a game.

Anwar was captured on CCTV purchasing 28 different coloured cricket bat handle grips from a wholesalers in St Albans where he gave Ijaz’s name and address for the receipt, which would be used by the players as the signal to show the fix was going ahead.

The PSL fixture between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi was played in Dubai on 9 February 2017.

Despite Latif originally agreeing to the fix, it was Khan who entered the crease almost five hours into the game displaying the pre-agreed signal.

Khan then carried out the fix, playing two dot balls in the first two balls of the second over, before getting out leg before wicket (LBW) for 0 in the third ball of the over.

On 13 February Jamshed was arrested by NCA officers at his home in Birmingham, and Anwar was arrested at Heathrow Airport after flying back from Dubai. Ijaz was detained at his home in Sheffield ten days later.

Jamshaid, Latif, Khan, and a fourth player, Mohammed Irfan, were all suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board following subsequent tribunal hearings.

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.

“I would like the thank the England and Wales Cricket Board, International Cricket Council, Gambling Commission and Pakistan Cricket Board for their ongoing support throughout this investigation.

“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.”