BCB 'not to involve' Ashraful in any form of cricket
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided 'not to involve' former captain Mohammad Ashraful in any form of cricket until the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) submits its report on investigations into alleged match-fixing and spot-fixing in this year's Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). The decision was taken at a BCB meeting on Tuesday after Ashraful admitted to his involvement in the activities.
"[Mohammad] Ashraful has admitted to his guilt, so I feel he has no chance of staying with the game in the near future," Nazmul Hassan, BCB president, said after the board's executive committee meeting. "Ashraful himself told me about his confession. What he has confessed to, I don't know because I want to read the full report first."
Later, a BCB statement confirmed that Ashraful would be kept out of the game: "The board decided not to involve Mohammad Ashraful in any cricketing activity under BCB's jurisdiction until further notice. This decision was based on the player's own confession of involvement in corrupt activities."
After Bangladesh's admission into international cricket in 2000, Ashraful was its first recognised face and sometimes its only flag-bearer since his debut in 2001. His admission of guilt has had a major impact in the image of Bangladesh cricket, especially at a time when the cricket team has been faring quite well.
Hassan said he will deal with the latest controversy in the right way, and take stringent action against those involved in corruption. He has also said that the ACSU report would be made public to clear any doubts about the BCB's intent to tackle allegations of match-fixing and spot-fixing.
"I am not going to let anyone off the hook. Everything has to be in a system, within rules. There will be hundreds of problems, but if we go about it the right way and solve them one by one, it will help us," Hassan said. "We will make public whatever report we get from the ICC ACSU. They offered me bits and pieces of information on Sunday, when I met them. I said I want full details, and I can wait for it."
The BCB chief also explained how the ACSU, which was hired by the board to keep an eye on corrupt practices, went about their investigation during the BPL.
"The day after BPL ended, they gave me a list of names [of people] who were suspected to have been involved in illegal activities. I immediately agreed to know the full details. This is the background of how all this started," Hassan said. "They have taken interviews of a lot of people around the world. They have come to the end of their investigation, except for one last interview. It was supposed to have been taken yesterday, somewhere abroad. They told me that after that last interview, it would take them five to six days to submit the final report."
According to BCB's anti-corruption laws, a 10-member tribunal is supposed to be formed to decide on the judgment of such cases. But Hassan is inclined to take the decision himself, since the investigation has been conducted by the ICC ACSU, on behalf of the BCB.
"Since we couldn't do the investigation ourselves, I think our decision, too, should be based on ACSU's report on the matter," Hassan said. "Whether we need a tribunal or not, we can consult BCB's and ICC's legal unit. But I think as a board president, I can take a decision and punish the guilty based on the ACSU report."
One of Bangladesh's most experienced cricketers, Ashraful played 61 Tests and captained the national side in 13 Test matches, 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is between 2007 and 2009. During a career which extended from 2001 to 2013, he scored 2,737 runs in Test matches at an average of 24. He has also played 177 ODIs and scored 3,468 runs at an average of 22.23.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here