JAMSHED RECEIVES LENGTHY BAN FOR HIS ROLE IN 2017 PSL SPOT-FIXING CONTROVERSY

Nasir Jamshed will likely never represent Pakistan at the International level again after he was found guilty of numerous breaches of the PCB’s anti-corruption code. As a result, the opener received a ten year ban from all forms of cricket, meaning he will not be eligible to play again until he is 38 years old.

Jamshed only recently ended another suspension which had been handed to him by the PCB. After being arrested in the United Kingdom early in 2017, he received a one year ban for non-cooperation in the PSL spot-fixing case of the same year. Clearly, however, he remained a player of interest, and soon after this ban concluded he was charged with seven counts of violating the PCB’s anti-corruption code. These charges also related to the 2017 PSL, during which Jamshed was allegedly a ‘linchpin’ of the corruption which permeated it.

According to Tafazzul Rizvi, lawyer acting on behalf of the PCB, Jamshed was ‘the one who recruited players’, a point which was ‘proved and accepted by the tribunal’. Ultimately, he wasn’t convicted of all seven of the charges, but the five for which he was found guilty were sufficient to warrant a ten year conviction. 

Jamshed had managed just two Test matches throughout his career, scoring only 51 runs in those outings, both of which were back in 2013. In the shorter forms of the game he had a little more success, accumulating 48 ODI appearances over the course of eight years, as well as 18 T20I appearances. His stats don’t exactly jump off the paper in either of these forms, but he did manage three ODI centuries along the way.

Unfortunately, that will be all she wrote for Jamshed, and it’s easy to understand why. Fixing in cricket has been a widespread issue for a long time, and indeed Pakistan has unfortunately been the home of many players to be fined or suspended for contributing to it. In the 2017 PSL alone, five other Pakistan players were found guilty of fixing charges, with Jamshed being the most recent, and the heaviest, of these examples.

It is, of course, incumbent upon each of cricket’s governing body to do what it can to eliminate the issue, but even from a personal perspective the PCB benefits strongly from taking a hardline stance to fixing. With domestic T20 competition’s popping up the world over, and numerous countries benefitting significantly from their own versions, the PCB has a vested interest in making the PSL as successful as possible. Allegations - and in this case, solid evidence - of anything which challenges the integrity of the game damages the brand of the competition, and makes it more difficult to attract the world’s best players and turn the league into one of the biggest domestic T20 competitions.

The PSL 2017 was just the second edition of the league, meaning it is still establishing itself on the world stage. Even in its infancy though, the league has already drawn a large list of big names, and appears poised to become one of the more popular. It has already drawn names such as Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, and Kevin Pietersen, alongside, of course, a raft of Pakistan players.

The spot-fixing controversy which marred the second version of the league no doubt threatened to have an impact on it going forward, but the harsh penalties handed down to the offender are appropriate reactions to something which needs to be stamped out in its entirety.