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Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed has said that the evidence the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have against him is “flimsy” and “ridiculous”.
Jamshed, who the PCB believe is one of the ringleaders of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) corruption scandal, was arrested in the United Kingdom in February.
As of now, the PCB has charged Jamshed with obstructing an investigation and refusing to cooperate, but the board made it clear that more serious charges could be stacked against the 27-year-old once the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) share their evidence with them.
With some of the PCB’s evidence against Jamshed having been leaked, Jamshed insisted that he was not worried. In fact, the Rawalpindi native revealed that he was “amused” when reading the evidence the board has to indict him.
The evidence Jamshed is talking about is eight WhatsApp voice notes he sent to Khalid Latif, who has also been charged in relation with the scandal.
The exchanges between them in Urdu are about one or more bat deals, which the PCB think is a coded message they used to engage in corrupt activities.
“They claim they have WhatsApp voice messages that show me talking about spot-fixing in code,” Jamshed told ESPNcricinfo. “But what they actually have is WhatsApp voice messages that show me talking about selling bats. There’s no code involved at all.
“I’ve had an arrangement for years whereby I would sell a few CA bats and take a 10% commission. It’s no secret; I’m allowed to do it. I laughed out loud when I saw details of their evidence against me. I was amused. It’s so flimsy. It’s ridiculous.
“The guy they say is a bookie… works in a Honda showroom as far as I know … We spoke about him buying some bats from me, but in the end he didn’t.
“If that is as good as they have, they should dismiss the case now. They have no evidence of any financial gain and, after all this time, they have not even charged me with spot-fixing or trying to fix a game. They have no real evidence against me.”
However, the PCB claim to have more evidence against Jamshed, including witness statements from numerous players that implicate him in the PSL corruption scandal.
Even if Jamshed is cleared of any wrongdoing by the NCA, the PCB feel that they have enough proof to launch their own investigation against him.
“The original corruption investigation is still pending and we have retained our right to bring additional corruption charges at any time we deem fit,” a PCB official told ESPNcricinfo.
At some point this month, Jamshed is expected to find out whether he has been cleared or whether he will be prosecuted for his alleged crimes.
“We have every confidence in the National Crime Agency,” Jamshed said. “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?
“I expect the NCA to clear me. But my worry is that I could be cleared by the NCA and found guilty by the PCB. That would still prevent me from playing cricket again. I’ve asked FICA (the international players’ union) for help, but as Pakistan are not affiliated to them, there is not much they can do.”
Jamshed also lashed out at PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and the board’s lawyers for saying that he refused to return to Pakistan in order to avoid being charged.
“He said I had changed my address and phone number in an attempt not to have any contact with them,” Jamshed said. “But I’ve been here since January. My passport and phone have both been taken off me so I can’t travel. They know that yet they continue to say I’m refusing to return to Pakistan.
“The only reason I have been reluctant to meet the PCB in the UK – and yes, they did suggest a London meeting – until now is that I’m not prepared to settle.”
The 27-year-old also believes that players have been “coerced” into giving statements against him.
“The PCB knew I was looking at a future in England,” he said. “I was hoping to play county cricket here. I would still like to after all this has been resolved.
“They are so keen to show the world they have cleaned up all the corruption in Pakistan cricket they are looking for a quick resolution to this case. All I can think is that I am seen as expendable.
“But some of those other players, such as Khalid Latif, have already raised their concerns about the PCB’s investigation. I’m confident the NCA will clear me and, when they have, I hope the PCB will drop this case.”