Shafaqna Pakistan:Two men have admitted conspiring to offer bribes to professional cricket players. Yousef Anwar, 36, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34, were arrested last February as part of an investigation by the National Crime Agency into alleged spot-fixing in Twenty20 tournaments organised by national cricket boards from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Both men had previously denied the offences, but changed their pleas on Monday ahead of a scheduled trial at Manchester Crown Court.
Anwar and Ijaz pleaded guilty to conspiring together between November 2016 and December 2016 to offer financial advantages to players in the Bangladesh Premier League, with the intention of inducing them to perform improperly by failing to play competitively in good faith. They also admitted the same charge in relation to players taking part in the Pakistan Super League between November 2016 and February 2017.
Anwar, of Littlebrook Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, and Ijaz, of Chippingham Road, Sheffield, were granted bail ahead of sentencing, expected to take place early next year.
A third defendant, Pakistani international cricketer Nasir Jamshaid, 33, of High Street, Walsall, denies being part of the bribery conspiracy in relation to the Pakistan Super League. The prosecution will open its case against him on Tuesday.
The duo came into attention during 2017 edition of Pakistan Super League when Pakistani Cricketers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were caught playing pre-decided dot-balls in opening game. Both were immediately suspended from PSL where they were representing Islamabad United. It was revealed that both the players were approached by Nasir Jamshed who introduced them to Yousef Anwer. Nasir was banned by PCB for 10 years for his role in spot fixing scandal. Both Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan had received 5 years ban with Sharjeel having his half of ban suspended.