Flanagan’s evidence strengthens PCB spot-fixing case
LAHORE: In a significant twist to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing case, the head of International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and safety Unit Sir Ronnie Flanagan told the tribunal some stark facts about the case.
This is only the second time that Flanagan had appeared before a fixing tribunal. The former British and Northern Ireland police chief had also appeared in the Chris Cairns inquiry in the Southwark crown Court London in 2015.
Sources said Flanagan revealed to the tribunal that the deal of “two dot balls that Sharjeel played in the Islamabad United opening PSL game against Peshawar Zalmi on February 9” happened exactly as brief to the PCB anti-corruption unit.
“But then why you or the PCB didn’t stop the players from doing that,” argued the tribunal. Sources said Flanagan said that “we give every chance, till the last minute” to the player to not involved in any wrongdoing and report the matter.
Flanagan briefed the tribunal how the National Crime Agency tipped off the ACSU about the imminent deal in the Pakistan Super League.
“The investigation was absolutely led by the PCB thorough and our role was simply that at a certain stage we received intelligence that was passed to us by the British NCA, “ Flanagan told media after appearing as a witness for Pakistan Cricket Board.
Flanagan said ICC’s ACSU had signed a MoU with the British police to share intelligence.
“The reason the NCA did that is because we have signed a MoU with British NCA, just as we have done with Australia, New Zealand and South African police, formally trying to have arrangements with Pakistan police.
“We simply passed that to PCB vigilance and coincided with the intelligence they already have, so if was mere collaboration with them.
Asked when the ACSU passed the info, Flanagan replied: “Early before the match.”
Flanagan’s statement has made the case stronger for the PCB, although Sharjeel’s lawyer has different opinion.
“We think PCB’s case has weakened as Flanagan has given statement on Colonel Azam’s (head of PCB anti-corruption head) insistence,” said Shaigan Aijaz. Aijaz said Islamabad United coach Dean Jones, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf and former opener Sadiq Mohammad will appear as witness for them.
Flanagan said his contribution is small in the way that the matter is of PCB.
“It’s a privilege for me as the chairman of the ICC ACSU to try to assist the tribunal in a small way, I say small way because this is clearly a matter for the PCB and for the PCB internal security and vigilance. We assist in a small way in the process and I have to say that these proceedings of the tribunal have been conducted in the most professional manner.
“I would also like to say as chairman of the ICC ACSU and I work very closely with the domestic anti corruptions units across the world and in this entire process, whatever is the outcome, I would like to say that the PCB and its unit in this entire process have demonstrated a great determination to keep cricket clean and have demonstrated highest level of professionalism.”
The proceedings will continue on Monday.