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.


NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

Updated 08 August 2020

NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

  • Orlando and Washington are last two teams contending for one spot in the East
  • The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: The NBA playoff picture is getting a little clearer.
Brooklyn secured one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference on Friday, defeating Sacramento 119-106. That leaves Orlando and Washington as the last two teams contending for one spot in the East, with the Magic needing only one more win or one Wizards loss to clinch.
Orlando and Washington were both playing later Friday.
For the Nets, the clinching comes as something to savor in a topsy-turvy season.
Kevin Durant couldn’t play at all because of his recovery from Achilles surgery — yet still got a $1 million contract bonus because Brooklyn made the postseason. Kyrie Irving missed much of the year because of injury, the Nets had several regulars opt out of participating in the restart, changed coaches in March and have used 24 players so far this season.
“It’s great to punch our own ticket into the playoffs,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I joked with the guys: I like my laundry being done, but nothing like doing your own laundry.”
The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close, with teams vying to grab the No. 8 spot and play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. If the eighth- and ninth-place teams are within four games of one another when the seeding game schedule ends next week, there will be a two-game series to determine who gets the last playoff spot.
Should that series take place, the ninth-place team would have to go 2-0 in a best-of-two series to advance.
Memphis remained alone in eighth, after the Grizzlies snapped a four-game bubble losing streak by beating Oklahoma City on Friday 121-92. The Grizzlies are one game ahead of Portland in the West standings.
“We channeled what we’ve done all season long,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We played Grizzlies basketball. Grizzlies basketball equals Grizzlies wins, more often than not. We hadn’t done that in the first four games.”
San Antonio leaped idle Phoenix into 10th in the West by beating Utah 119-111, with the Spurs improving to 3-2 in the bubble. The Spurs (30-38) are one game behind Portland in the standings.
“At the end of the day, we can’t control what they’re doing,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said. “We can only control what we’re doing. We’re going to take every game as it comes. We’re going to try to win every game.”
Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans remain in the mix for a play-in series spot. The Suns, who are 4-0 at Disney, play Miami on Saturday.