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June 14, 2013
Mushfiqur Rahim has called Mohammad Ashraful's admission of involvement in match-fixing and spot-fixing as a "loss of pride" for the Bangladesh cricket team.
Mushfiqur said he was in disbelief when he first heard the news of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit's (ACSU) investigation and Ashraful's confession.
"Our pride was in the knowledge that none of our players are involved in such things," Mushfiqur told ESPNcricinfo. "A few of our players got offers but said no, so hats off to them. It was a matter of pride that whether we played badly, nobody was in this business. The investigation is still ongoing but what has happened is very wrong.
"I felt bad at first. I couldn't believe it. Afterwards, if you talk about the reality the investigation is still ongoing but when I heard it from him, I felt worse. Taking the BPL matches aside, when I heard about the international matches, I felt it was unusual and unbelievable."
The BCB confirmed last week that three international matches were to be investigated as well after Ashraful reportedly told the ACSU of being involved in corrupt practices in these matches. Ashraful's confession to the ACSU regarding the international matches was first reported by the Dhaka-based Prothom Alo, in which one of the matches mentioned was during Mushfiqur's reign as captain.
Mushfiqur wants punitive action if Ashraful is found guilty by the Bangladesh Cricket Board after the ICC's ACSU submits its report. However, he also admitted never being aware of Ashraful's involvement despite playing together for eight years.
"We have been with him for so long, but we never realised what was going on. Mashrafe [Mortaza] bhai said that he slept in his room," Mushfiqur said. "If he is guilty, he should be given punishment. Our younger players should know this is a big crime. You cannot betray a nation, it doesn't matter how big or small a player you are."
However, Mushfiqur added that Ashraful would be welcomed back into the team if he is allowed to play. "I hope he returns to cricket quickly," he said.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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