Bookie approaches top Pakistan player, Sethi confirms, sending matter sent to ICC


SHARJAH: A Pakistani cricketer, who is part of the squad currently engaged in the ODI series against Sri Lanka in the UAE, has reported an approach by a bookie to the anti-corruption unit of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it emerged on Friday.
The offer was made before the third ODI against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, which Pakistan won by seven wickets to clinch the five-match series 3-0, Wisden India has learnt.
“A top player was approached by a bookie and the player instantly reported the matter to the PCB anti-corruption unit. The man has been known to the players and lives in the UAE,” a source told Wisden India, confirming that the player in question had followed the procedure of informing the PCB as soon as possible, as laid down in the players’ code.
Six Pakistan players were involved in a spot-fixing case in the Pakistan Super League earlier this year. Of them, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif have been banned for five years. Mohammad Irfan was also fined and suspended for six months, while Mohammad Nawaz was banned for two months. The verdict on two other players – Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed – is still awaited.
Sethi confirms
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi has confirmed that a national team player was approached by an individual with a match-fixing offer, but it was immediately reported to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption unit.
“A player was approached,” Sethi said on Twitter. “As per rules he immediately reported to PCB who informed ICC. Matters are jointly in hand. No further comment.”
Sethi did not name the player; however, Pakistani media and sources in the PCB have said that the player approached by the bookie was skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and the approach was made on October 17, before the third one-day international in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan lead the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka 4-0 after a thumping seven-wicket win in Sharjah on Friday. The final match also takes place in Sharjah on Monday.
Sources said Sarfraz had immediately reported the matter to PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit, who in turn informed the ICC. Under the anti-corruption code, a player must report a fixing offer. A failure to do so can result in a ban of a minimum of six months. The maximum punishment is a life ban. Under ICC rules, a player is interviewed by its anti-corruption unit to further investigate the matter, but the governing body does not make any comment on an ongoing investigation.
Pakistan cricket received a jolt in February when two of its players – Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif – were caught in a spot-fixing scandal which rocked the Pakistan Super League held in the United Arab Emirates.
Sharjeel was banned for five years (two and a half years of which were suspended) while Khalid was banned for five years and fined Rs1m.
The two played for Islamabad United and were accused of arranging two dot balls in return for money in the opening match of the league.
Pacer Mohammad Irfan, also named in the scandal, was banned for a year, six months of which were suspended, and fined Rs1m while spinning all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz was banned for two months (one suspended) and fined Rs200,000 for failing to report fixing offers at various stages.
Pakistan has a history of fixing related incidents with three of their top players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir – banned for five years in a spot-fixing scandal on team’s tour of England in 2010.
An earlier judicial inquiry on fixing ended in life bans on Salim Malik and Ataur Rehman and fines on six players Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Saeed Anwar and Akram Raza in 2000. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is serving a life ban in a 2010 spot-fixing case in a county match in England.