Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has reported that he was approached by a bookie during the ongoing Asia Cup.
Shahzad said the person who approached him offered him money to underperform in the inaugural edition of the Afghan Premier League T20, which will be held in Sharjah from October 5 to 23.
It is understood that Shahzad reported the approach immediately and all protocols were followed in alerting the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption unit about the incident.
“There was an approach made during the Asia Cup, but for their [Afghanistan’s] own T20 league,” an ICC official was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “The matter was reported through the right channels on Saturday and is being looked into by the anti-corruption unit.”
Alex Marshall, who heads the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, revealed that as many as five international captains have been approached to spot-fix in the past year.
Four of them were from Full Member nations, and one of them was Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed as he publicly confirmed he was approached during his side’s series against Sri Lanka last year.
“There have been 32 investigations in the last 12 months, eight involve players as suspects,” Marshall said. “Five of them involve administrators or non-playing personnel. Three of these individuals have been charged. Five internationals captains have also reported receiving approaches to spot-fix.”
Marshall also spoke of the need to work more closely with all the cricket boards, and to educate players about the different methods spot-fixing syndicates may use to lure them into the illegal trade.
“We try to link up with the intelligence,” he said. “We look at what we know about this event, are we providing anti-corruption cover, are we already there or is it being provided by another party? Are there any other strands of intelligence we have about that tournament. Is there anything about financial backers or the people surrounding the tournament are suspicious?
“We never launch off an investigation because something looks odd on the field or we get a single anonymous report. We get quite a lot of single, anonymous reports. We start putting the pieces together and there’s sufficient reason to think on reasonable grounds to start investigating this, then we take it on. We do find a lot of corrupters who move between formats of international and domestic, because they’re looking for the opportunity and vulnerability.”