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Nasir Jamshed banned for ten years on corruption charges

Nasir Jamshed failed again, this time falling for 4 AFP

Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed has been banned for ten years after an independent anti-corruption tribunal found him guilty of five of the seven breaches of the PCB's anti-corruption code he had been charged on.

In a short verdict, the three-man tribunal ruled on Friday that apart from suspension from playing any level of cricket, a player found to be in breach of the anti-corruption code should also be ineligible from holding any management roles in Pakistan cricket for life.

This is the second punishment for Jamshed in the last two years. In December 2017, Jamshed was banned for a year by the PCB after an anti-corruption tribunal found him guilty of non-cooperation in the 2017 PSL spot-fixing case. Jamshed had been the third player to come under the PCB's radar when they had begun investigations into corruption in early 2017 and had been arrested in the UK in February 2017.

Jamshed's one-year ban only ended earlier this year, in April, following which PCB charged him with seven violations of their anti-corruption code. Jamshed responded by rejecting the charges levelled against him, pushing the PCB to form a tribunal headed by retired judge Justice Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan, and including former cricketer Aaqib Javed and Supreme Court advocate Shahzaib Masood as members.

Jamshed, according to the PCB, was the "linchpin" connecting several corruption cases. Considered a central figure in the corruption scandal, Jamshed faced charges of approaching and soliciting other players for fixing. The verdict today finally wrapped up the saga that arose from the spot-fixing scandal in the PSL in 2017.

In separate proceedings, the National Crime Agency (NCA) in England is also involved in investigations emanating from the allegations of the spot-fixing case. Early in the case, the NCA had arrested - and subsequently released - Jamshed. However NCA reportedly hasn't yet reached a conclusion in their investigation yet. The PCB, during proceedings, heard from an NCA official on Skype as one of the witnesses, but the agency didn't offer any evidence against the player.

At least one part of the evidence against Jamshed was a collection of WhatsApp voice recordings allegedly between Jamshed and others also implicated in the case; these recordings were also leaked to the media. The PCB prosecution, however, mainly acted on the testimonials in which they treated Jamshed as the axis who was enticing players into the fixing web.

"PSL 2017's fixing trial has concluded," the PCB lawyer Tafazzul Rizvi said after the verdict. "There are a few cases you really don't rejoice after winning; instead you feel sad about it because it ends with another career destroyed. It's painful to see a player who didn't have his conduct right and didn't fulfil his responsibilities according the anti-corruption code of conduct. Our stance from the first day was he was the linchpin and he is the one who recruited players.

"Our point was proved and accepted by the tribunal, and they found him guilty on multiple charges. Even if he returns after rehabilitation, he is not allowed to be engage in any cricket management role and will be kept him away from cricket. We also suggested his name be added in a list of persons mentioned in anti-corruption lectures who are to be avoided by the players. So this all ends here."

Jamshed's lawyer, Hasan Warraich, did not appear in front of the tribunal on Friday, and wasn't available to speak to the media afterwards. It is not yet clear whether Jamshed intends to appeal the verdict. His wife, Samara Afzal, put out a statement on Twitter, bemoaning many "failings of the case". She said she would accept Jamshed's guilt if it was ruled as such in a British court of law, but if he was exonerated, she would "drag the PCB through every court in the UK if necessary to get justice".

Jamshed is the sixth Pakistan player to be punished in the wake of the PSL spot-fixing case in 2017, and received the heaviest punishment. Previously, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Irfan and Shahzaib Hasan were all fined and banned on separate charges. Jamshed last played for Pakistan at the 2015 World Cup.