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Pakistan Confirms Bookie’s Approach to Player

by AFP

Arif Ali—AFP

PCB chairman says unnamed player, reportedly captain Sarfraz Ahmed, was approached by a bookie

A top Pakistan cricket official on Saturday confirmed a national team player was approached by a bookie with an offer of fixing which was reported to the anti-corruption unit.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi said the matter was being dealt with by his board and the International Cricket Council (ICC). “A player was approached,” Sethi said on Twitter. “As per rules he immediately reported to PCB who informed ICC. Matters are jointly in hand. No further comment.”

Pakistani media said the player approached was skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and it happened on Oct. 17 before the third one-day international in Abu Dhabi a day later. Reports said Ahmed had immediately reported the matter to PCB’s anti-corruption unit, who in turn informed the ICC.

Under the anti-corruption code a player must report a fixing offer and failure to do so can result in a ban of a minimum of six months. The maximum punishment is a life ban.

Pakistan lead the five-match series 4-0 after a thumping seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Friday. The final match takes place in Sharjah on Monday. Under ICC rules a player is interviewed by its anti-corruption unit to further investigate the matter, but the governing body does not make any comment on an ongoing investigation.

Pakistan cricket received a jolt in February when two of its players—Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif—were caught in a spot-fixing scandal that rocked their Twenty20 league held in United Arab Emirates. Khan was banned for five years (two and a half years of which were suspended) while Latif was banned for five years and fined one million rupees ($10,000). The two played for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and were accused of arranging two dot balls in return for money in the opening match of the league.

Pacer Mohammad Irfan was banned for one year, six months of which were suspended, and fined one million rupees while spinning all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz was banned for two months (one suspended) and fined 200,000 rupees ($2,000) for failing to report fixing offers at various stages.

Pakistan has a history of fixing related incidents with three of their top players—Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir—banned for five years in a spot fixing scandal on team’s tour of England in 2010.

A judicial inquiry on fixing ended in life bans on Salim Malik and Ataur Rehman and fines on six players Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Saeed Anwar and Akram Raza in 2000. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is serving a life ban in a 2010 spot fixing case in a county match in England.

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