05:49PM, Wednesday 12 February 2020
A Slough man has been jailed for bribing cricketers to take part in spot-fixing in international matches.
Yousaf Anwar, 36, of Littlebrook Avenue, Slough, admitted his role in the conspiracy following a covert operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Anwar worked with ex-professional Pakistani cricketer Nasir Jamshaid, 33, from Oldbury, West Midlands, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34, from Sheffield, to fix elements of games.
Using an undercover officer, NCA investigators identified the group were plotting to fix parts of the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament that Jamshaid was due to play in.
Anwar and Ijaz developed a system by which they would identify a professional player willing to take part in an agreed fix.
The player would then signal at the start of the game if the agreed 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 to be played in Dubai.
In February 2017, Anwar flew out to the United Arab Emirates to meet with other professional players including Islamabad United teammates Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan who agreed to play their part in corrupting elements of the game.
Before flying out to join them Anwar was captured on CCTV buying 28 different coloured cricket bat handle grips from a wholesalers in St Albans where he gave Ijaz’s name and address for the receipt.
These would subsequently 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 February 9, 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 the following ball.
On February 13 that year Jamshaid 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 in Sheffield 10 days after.
The trio admitted their roles in the conspiracy and were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on February 7 this year.
Anwar was jailed for three years and four months, Ijaz was imprisoned for two years and six months while Jamshaid received a 17-month jail term.
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.”
Jamshaid, Latif, Khan and a fourth player, Mohammed Irfan, were all suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board for their role in the fix.
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