Mashrafe reports spot-fixing approach
Mashrafe Mortaza has reported to his franchise an approach from a fellow cricketer regarding potential spot-fixing during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). His franchise, Dhaka Gladiators, say they have informed the BPL of the approach.
"I have told my team management [about the approach] and I'm sure they will do the right thing," Mashrafe told ESPNcricinfo. Gladiators media manager Minhaz Uddin Khan confirmed the report and said the franchise had passed on the information to the BPL.
The story was first reported in Thursday morning's Dhaka papers, which included a quote from Mashrafe saying he would step down from the team captaincy if he suspected any irregularities once the tournament got underway.
The reports said Mashrafe was asked to provide information on whether he would play certain matches and even whether he'd be wearing his sunglasses or cap. In exchange, he was told, he would be paid 15-20% of the earnings from the spot-betting.
However, there is some confusion over the details of the approach - the date and place - and which officials are in the loop regarding this. Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar, who is an advisor to the Gladiators, told ESPNcricinfo that he informed BPL governing council chairman Gazi Ashraf Hossain of the incident on Tuesday; however, the league's secretary Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir said on Thursday morning he was not aware of any such report and had learned of it in the papers.
"We have found out after reading the newspaper reports. I don't understand why he went to the press first before telling us. There's a proper process for all this," Alamgir said. "If he had reported it to us, we would have started investigation right away. But even now, we will talk to Mashrafe and take his official statement."
Alamgir confirmed that an ICC ACSU officer is already in Dhaka for the BPL and will be made aware of this new information. "The protocol is for the player to report to the BPL governing council or for the franchise owners to report to BPL. None of them have done that before the news was published in the media. I will also tell our ACSU officer about the incident and we'll conduct whatever is necessary in this situation."
Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka