Pakistan captain Sarfraz resists bookie’s offer


DUBAI: In a shocking revelation, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has disclosed that he turned down a lucrative offer from a bookmaker in Dubai during the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka and reported the matter to the anti-corruption and security unit officials.

The incident has shaken the Pakistan team management and anti-corruption and security officials travelling with the team in the UAE, as they felt that the bans imposed on batsmen Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif for spot-fixing in Pakistan Super League might have stopped such moves.

“The matter has been handled as per standard procedure but there is a lot of respect for Sarfraz, who as a captain and player, has set a great example for his teammates on how to avoid attempts to corrupt the game,” an official of the Pakistan Cricket Board said on condition of anonymity.

“ICC rules don’t allow us to name player (s) in such cases where approaches are reported but yes Sarfraz got an offer and he immediately reported the matter to the concerned officials, who have taken appropriate action,” he added.

According to media reports, the bookie who allegedly made a spot-fixing bid to Sarfraz is believed to be an employee of Sharjah cricket stadium and is known to players.

The suspect hails from Karachi and has been identified as Irfan Ansari.

He offered spot-fixing related to bowling changes, the sources said.

The Sharjah stadium management has reportedly decided to take action against the employee in question.

Irfan was contacted by a private media outlet regarding the allegations, which he denied at first, but then said he “might have said something like that as a joke.”

Irfan is considered well known in the cricket circles in UAE and Pakistan.

An official in the PCB said that the team management has increased vigilance of players and reset curfew timings.

“On the insistence of head coach Mickey Arthur, there was a bit of relaxation for the players during the ongoing series in the UAE and they were allowed to meet friends and go out for shopping and dinners but now strict procedures and timings have been enforced again,” the official said.

The PCB had already changed the hotel of the national team in Dubai following the PSL spot-fixing scandal earlier this February which rocked Pakistan cricket.

The PCB has forwarded the investigation into the spot-fixing approach to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit.

According to reports, the ICC will interview players, including Sarfraz, and team management.

PCB Chairman Najam Sethi confirmed the approach, without naming the player.

“A player was approached. As per rules he immediately reported to PCB who informed ICC. Matters are jointly in hand. No further comment,” he tweeted.