Nasir Jamshed is willing to cooperate with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) inquiry into the PSL corruption investigation. But he wants the board to wait until an ongoing investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) emanating from the same case comes to an end. Earlier this week the PCB charged Jamshed with two violations of their Anti-Corruption Code, for obstructing and not cooperating with their investigation. Jamshed has been given 14 days to respond.
Jamshed and another man were arrested by the NCA in February and were later released on bail. Those arrests were made in connection with offences as part of an investigation into spot-fixing. That arrest came on the same day that he was first provisionally suspended by the PCB.
The PCB believes Jamshed to be a central figure in its investigations into attempts to corrupt the second edition of the PSL, in which several other Pakistani players have been charged. But charges were laid against him after the board claimed it had been unable to speak to Jamshed – a PCB official was in the UK recently but was unable to meet him.
Jamshed, who is based in Birmingham, had informed the PCB through his lawyer about his inability to travel to Pakistan because his passport has been confiscated by the NCA. In a video message circulated in Pakistan, Jamshed said that once the NCA investigation ends, he will present himself as and when required by the PCB.
“I have no control over what is being said in the media,” said Jamshed in Urdu from his England residence. “I have neither changed residences, nor am I hiding from anyone. I am completely ready to cooperate with the PCB. My only request is to let the NCA inquiry being conducted to reach its conclusion first.
“This is something the PCB had stated itself, when they stopped an FIA inquiry. I believe that too. First the NCA inquiry should be completed. The PCB has stated itself that they are in regular contact with the NCA, and are fully aware of the inquiry. Once it ends, I will present myself as and when the PCB requires me to.”
Parallel to the PCB’s investigation, Pakistan’s Federal Investigative Agency has also launched an inquiry against the players charged by the Pakistan board. The country’s interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has placed the four players provisionally suspended by the PCB – Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan and Shahzaib Hasan – on an exit control list, preventing them from leaving the country.
The FIA began their own inquiry after the Pakistan board asked for the agency’s assistance in obtaining forensic evidence from mobile phones in connection to the investigation. And though the PCB initially distanced itself from the FIA investigation, Najam Sethi, chairman of the PSL, has sought to clarify that he was not against the FIA’s probe and had never asked agency to stop its investigation.
“I want FIA, which has taken suo motu [notice] of the case, to continue with its probe in this matter and should go after bookies like British Crime Agency does,” Sethi said. “Since there has been no law to deal with the spot-fixing here in Pakistan, this matter comes under the domain of PCB’s discipline and conduct and the Board can award exemplary punishment to the guilty players. The FIA deals with the criminal side of this case and if any such findings come up during the PCB tribunal probe, the FIA will be asked to take action. However, the FIA should better go after bookies and let the PCB deal with the players’ wrongdoings.”
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.