Bangladesh news June 6, 2013

Siddons not surprised by fixing allegations

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jamie Siddons, the former Bangladesh coach, has said he wasn't surprised by Mohammad Ashraful's confession in his involvement in corruption during the second season of the Bangladesh Premier League. Siddons, the first former Bangladesh coach to comment on the controversy, also sympathised with the former captain.

"I feel a bit sorry for him but I don't condone it at all," Siddons told The Dominion Post on Thursday. "He's a great young kid so I'm really disappointed for him. He probably got roped in as a 15-year-old when he first started by some other people."

Siddons was in charge of the Bangladesh side from the end of 2007 till April 2011, during which Ashraful was the captain for two years. Siddons and Ashraful had an on and off relationship throughout the Australian's stint, culminating in Ashraful losing his captaincy in 2009 and getting dropped the next year. Upon arriving in Bangladesh, he had famously told the media that he wanted the team to do well and not just wait for Ashraful to score.

Siddons also revealed that he had told the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the ICC, but did not elaborate on the matter. "I made my thoughts known a while ago to the cricket board and the ICC, so I wasn't surprised at all. It's disappointing but I don't think it's surprising. It's a powerful beast the underworld gambling," Siddons said.

He was also mindful of Ashraful's social background, sympathising with the financial load he has had to carry over the years.

"People like Ashraful, he's got 15 people living in his house, he feeds probably five families and on a cricketer's wage over there it's near impossible, so you can almost [understand]. It's a different world that we live in, it's a tough world for him."

Siddons was credited by many for ushering in exciting young cricketers like Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. However, Ashraful batted poorly during his tenure as coach, averaging a shade below 21 in all international matches.

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  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Siddons pointed some logical matters,expectation of many people from one, inside the scandal.But this picture is true for almost every people of Bangladesh who can earn.Bring up in a family where moral values is emphasized should be considered too.Another factor that was hinted by Siddons,a player who started earning from his teenage can be easily diverted by the bad elements of the cricket world.BCB can work in this area to help young cricketers to strengthen moral values that will benifit Bangladesh cricket in the long run.

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Siddons comment about poverty leading to crime is either naive or mischievous. All over Asia, nay world, poverty exists. But the majority of poor try to make a honest living however hard it might be. The one percent super rich perhaps indulge in crimes which get sophisticated names and are so well connected in the right places that they not only get away with it but also pretend to be good and honest. Crime is more a function of opportunity plus temptation. Being rich or poor is irrelevant there.

    It is unfortunate that young men like Ashraful are roped into betting and fixing by unscrupulous elements who use these naive but morally weak boys to make far more money than they pay to lure these boys.

  • Khair ul on June 7, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    Siddons can be forgiven for his sympathetic attitude towards Ashraful's misdemeanours. From where he comes from, it may be hard for him to know that there are a large number of Bengalis who struggle financially in their daily lives. Cricketers are somewhat better off than most of them. When there is corruption all around you it breeds a culture of tolerance towards it so much so that some people even take pride in doing it and getting away with it. I am probably drawing a long bow but hope my point gets across that it is a cultural problem. The cricket board needs to take concrete steps to deal with this issue (whether real or potential) by educating and motivating players from very early on, and doing it continuously - not simply as a one-off briefing.

  • sadequl on June 6, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    Ty Siddons for your sympathetically attitude towards Ash but poverty is not the only issue that might made Ash to became corrupted as such & there are other reasons too. As a Bangladeshi we really know how tough sometimes it can be to live without corruption when you are surrounded with such scam environment all over your self. ATM we all are fingering at Ash as he came into the spot light by admitting the whole truth heartily & bravely but none of us even talking at all about those criminals who bring this little kid in such naked situation now. Ash's might had troubles with poverty but he needed a perfect guide lines so that he don't get off tracked this way.

    If we want to identify the root of this corruption then we need to nail those master minds down to earth at first like so called big brothers of Ash's from cricket or outside arena & the greedy franchises. If we cant touch those criminals then who knows how many talent will be wasted more in future like this way too.

  • Mahfuzur on June 6, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    15 people and five families!!!!oh no so all gone against ashraful and forced to do that??

  • Dummy4 on June 6, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    "People like Ashraful, he's got 15 people living in his house, he feeds probably five families and on a cricketer's wage over there it's near impossible, so you can almost [understand]. It's a different world that we live in, it's a tough world for him."

    I think this just rubs the wound culturally. There are far worse people in Bangladesh, yet they do not resort to (mundane) criminal activities.