Mohammad Shahzad, the Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman, has become the latest high-profile subject of a spot-fixing approach. The offer, made during the ongoing Asia Cup, was to underperform in the inaugural edition of the Afghan Premier League T20 to be played in Sharjah from October 5 to 23.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Shahzad immediately reported the approach to the team management, and all protocols were followed in raising the matter with the ICC’s anti-corruption unit. Shahzad was picked up by the Paktia franchise to play in a tournament that is set to feature a number of current and former internationals like Brendon McCullum, Shahid Afridi and Chris Gayle.
“There was an approach made during the Asia Cup, but for their [Afghanistan’s] own T20 league,” an ICC official said. “The matter was reported through the right channels on Saturday and is being looked into by the anti-corruption unit.”
Speaking at a media event in Dubai on Monday, Alex Marshall, head of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, confirmed as many as five international captains have been approached for spot-fixing over the last 12 months; four of them from Full Member countries. Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, is the only one to have publicly stated that an approach had been made, during the Sri Lanka series last year.
“There have been 32 investigations in the last 12 months, eight involve players as suspects,” Marshall said at the ICC’s headquarters. “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 underlined the need to work closely with all boards to prevent corruption and of the need to keep educating players about the many methods fixing syndicates use to spread their influence across the newly formed T20 leagues.