Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed has been banned for one year by the PCB after an anti-corruption tribunal found him guilty of non-cooperation in the PSL spot-fixing case.
Jamshed was the fifth Pakistani player to be punished in relation to the case that tarred the start of the second season of the league this February; Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz were all fined and banned.
Jamshed’s case had looked all along as though it might have more serious consequences, and these charges may not be the end. The PCB was adamant early on that he was a central figure behind the scam, a belief that was bolstered when Jamshed was arrested in the UK in February in connection with that investigation. He was released on bail, and the current status of his investigation in the UK remains unclear.
“Let me clarify that the charge levelled upon Nasir Jamshed by the PCB so far was simply one of a failure to cooperate,” the PCB’s legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi told reporters. “The PCB has not yet charged Jamshed with spot-fixing. Today, that charge was proved, and the tribunal banned him for one year.”
The ban prevents Jamshed from all forms of cricket till February 13, 2018, one year on from when he was first suspended. However, his legal troubles aren’t over yet, and more charges could be laid against him depending on the status of the UK investigation. At one point the PCB was waiting for the UK’s National Crime Agency to share evidence, but there has been no official update on that investigation since June. The NCA said at that time that the “three subjects arrested by the NCA as part of its investigation into the spot-fixing of cricket matches met with officers on 21 June and were re-bailed until October 2017.”
Jamshed’s lawyer Hasan Warraich said the proceedings proved that the PCB had no proof against his client. “My client has been defamed nationally and internationally, and the reputation of the country has been damaged by the PCB’s actions. And ultimately, nothing comes of it. They kept saying they had multiple proofs against my client, and I challenged them to present those proofs to the media. They have consistently failed to do so, and nothing came of the FIA [Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency] report that they referred to.”
Rizvi said, however, this case was never about corruption, but specifically about demonstrating that Jamshed had failed to cooperate with the PCB. Jamshed appeared once in front of the tribunal in August, and that too via Skype from England. At the time he was unable to travel because his passport remains with the NCA. He had also not met with PCB officials when they went to the UK before that – circumstances which the PCB argued proved his non-cooperation.
“A narrative is being built that the PCB hasn’t presented any proof against Jamshed,” Rizvi said. “This case was simply a case about Jamshed’s failure to cooperate. No proof has been made public yet so that he doesn’t try to cover his tracks. If he is innocent, then shouldn’t he or his client have explained why his passport has been confiscated by the National Crime Agency in London? Why is he on bail over there?”
Jamshed has not played an international game for Pakistan since the 2015 World Cup. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo earlier this year, in Birmingham, he said he had little faith in the PCB’s investigation.
“We have every confidence in the National Crime Agency,” Jamshed said at the time. “But we have very little confidence in the PCB. How can we trust them? They have leaked information to the media, they have made up stories about me moving house to avoid the authorities – I’ve been here in Birmingham since January – and the tribunal they have formed to hear my case is made up of former PCB employees. How can that be independent?”