Pakistan’s Jamshed pleads guilty in UK bribery case

Pakistani cricketer Nasir Jamshed during a match against India on 2012. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 10 December 2019

Pakistan’s Jamshed pleads guilty in UK bribery case

  • 33-year-old former batsman is accused of conspiring to bribe PSL players to perform poorly
  • An undercover cop unearthed evidence by pretending to be a member of a corrupt betting syndicate

London: Former Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed pleaded guilty on Monday to a conspiracy to bribe fellow cricketers as part of a Twenty20 spot-fixing coup.
Jamshed, 33, had originally denied being involved in a plan focused on the Pakistan Super League but changed his plea during a court hearing in Manchester.
Two other men, Yousef Anwar, 36, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34, admitted last week to offering financial advantages to PSL players with the intention of inducing them to perform improperly by failing to play competitively in good faith.
All three will be sentenced on a date to be fixed in February.
Prosecutors told the court an undercover police officer had unearthed evidence by pretending to be a member of a corrupt betting syndicate.
The policeman’s efforts then led to the discovery of an attempted fix in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) late in 2016 and an actual fix in the 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.
Jamshed was said to be the target of bribery in Bangladesh before turning perpetrator as a go-between urging other players to spot-fix in a PSL match between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on February 9.
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said later on Monday Anwar and Ijaz had developed a system by which they would charge £30,000 per fix ($39,450) per fix with half of the sum going to the player.
Ian McConnell, the NCA’s 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.”
Spot-fixing involves rigging a specific aspect of a game on which bookmakers have offered odds, unlike match-fixing, where the whole result is fixed.
Jamshed has played Test, one-day and Twenty20 international cricket for Pakistan.


Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

Updated 22 January 2020

Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

  • This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders

JEDDAH: Sports chiefs are gearing up to announce the Saudi city venue for a new international cycling race set to take place in the Kingdom.

Chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal is expected to reveal on Thursday that Riyadh will host the five-stage Saudi Tour 2020 from Feb. 4 to 8.

The inaugural edition of the 2.1 category race is being staged by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizer of the world-famous Tour de France.

Details of the route in and around the Saudi capital were due to be released during a press conference at Riyadh’s Digital City.

The cycling event precedes the Tour of Oman (Feb. 11 to 16) which is facing cancelation following the death of Sultan Qaboos.

ASO chief executive, Yann Le Moenner, said: “We are involved in the emergence of a new racing scene in the Middle East, which corresponds to the riders’ demand at the beginning of the year.

“The creation of the Saudi Tour and its sustainable installation in the calendar is part of this movement. This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders, and a nice opportunity for the television viewers who follow the race to discover new landscapes.

“This is also, for us, an occasion to contribute to the development of cycling across the Kingdom,” he added.

Saudi Cycling Federation chief Sabah Al-Kraidees said it was an “honor” to have the inaugural Saudi Tour, noting that the event would help to promote the Kingdom as a tourist destination.

“The Saudi Tour is a great opportunity to publicize the country’s varied territories and historic sites and to let visitors discover our sense of hospitality. This initiative fits perfectly with the ambition of Saudi Arabia to promote the Kingdom beyond its borders through sports and especially cycling,” he added.

The five-day event will feature stages in the hills around Riyadh and on urban circuits.

The Kingdom recently began issuing tourist visas after travel to the country was largely limited to pilgrims, business travelers and resident workers.