Nasir Jamshed, the former Pakistan opener, and one other man have been arrested* in the UK in relation to the ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
The National Crime Agency (NCA) released a statement on Tuesday saying that it was “working closely” with PCB and ICC anti-corruption units and that both men had received bail.
The NCA statement said: “Two men in their thirties have been arrested by National Crime Agency officers in connection with bribery offences as part of an ongoing investigation into international cricket match spot-fixing.
“The men were arrested on Monday 13 February and have been released on bail until April 2017 pending further enquiries.
“As part of the ongoing investigation we are working closely with the Pakistan Cricket Board and International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption units. The Pakistan Cricket Board has launched its own investigation which has resulted in the suspension of three players.”
Jamshed was arrested on the same day that he was provisionally suspended by the PCB, the third player to face that fate after the allegations first emerged. Pakistan openers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were provisionally suspended from the PSL last week over alleged breaches of the anti-corruption code. Three other players were questioned by anti-corruption officers in relation to the investigation: Mohammad Irfan, Zulfiqar Babar and Shahzaib Hasan. None was suspended and they were cleared to continue playing at the PSL.
The next step for the PCB is to issue show cause notices to the suspended players and initiate a disciplinary inquiry into the breaches of the code. Any inquiry, in the shape of an independent tribunal, is likely to be headed by a retired High Court or Supreme Court judge.
“We had a lot of evidence on which we based our decision,” Najam Sethi, the PSL chairman, said on his talk show on Geo TV, before the announcement of the arrests. “We know what we are doing. We have all evidence. We had this for a while, we had information – we cannot talk about stuff right now but a charge sheet will be given to players soon.
“We had definite information, and not just us, we were collecting it. We knew it was happening, we had identified a few players and then at final stages we knew the ICC had some information as well and when we compared it the information was the same, then we decided to act on this.”
Sethi said the PCB investigation into alleged corruption had begun before the PSL’s second season began.
“You will know in 3-4 days what the plans were, what they were going to do, we have these players’ phones in which there is more information. Who they were in touch with, what they talked about, their text messages, WhatsApp messages.
“We had an idea this was happening. We had also infiltrated into Pakistani bookies and we had some information from there as well before we got here. The league was huge last year and we knew it would attract bookies. We were waiting for it and we knew some players outside the PSL would be involved in it.
“We suspended Nasir Jamshed as well, about whom we know what role he played. We nipped it in the bud.”