Bangladesh news August 20, 2013

Mosharraf insists he is innocent

Mosharraf Hossain, the Bangladesh left-arm spinner, has said the ICC has charged him for being involved in alleged match-fixing in Dhaka Gladiators' February 2 BPL match against Chittagong Kings earlier this year. He, however, continued to claim that his bowling figures from the match are enough evidence to prove his innocence.

"The ICC has accused me on charges of match fixing in the game between Dhaka Gladiators and Chittagong despite doing well," Mosharraf said in a statement. "I had picked up two wickets for 17 runs in that game. It seems that I am a victim of situation and decided to take the recourse of law to prove my innocence and I am confident about it.

"If anyone wanted to do fixing then he needs to bowl badly - at least bowl three or four deliveries in an over should be a full toss and a short ball. I am not such a fool that I would do fixing and also bowl well."

Several top Bangladeshi newspapers had raised suspicions after the match, especially at the manner in which high-flying Gladiators lost meekly to Kings by 54 runs. Gladiators had won five out of six games before February 2, and were seen as the form team having taken the title the previous season and having further strengthened their side. Kings had won two of their last six games before the match in question.

On Tuesday, Mosharraf arranged a press conference at the City Club ground in Mirpur where he denied every angle of questioning that linked him to corruption. But he admitted that after the February 2 match, there was discussion in the dressing-room regarding the team's performance.

"After the match there was no other discussion apart from our bad performance. Some of us fielded badly while our batsmen were getting out. But there was no discussion regarding the fixing issue in the dressing room.

"I am totally confident that I had not spoken to anyone regarding any deal of match-fixing. So there cannot be any question of obtaining any recorded telephonic conversation of mine.

Mosharraf has now found himself in two of the biggest controversies in Bangladesh cricket. In 2008, he was among the 12 players who were banned for joining the rebel Indian Cricket League. He was pardoned by the BCB the following year, after which he came back strongly. He earned a senior call-up earlier this year in Sri Lanka but did not play any of the ODIs.

At the time of receiving the ICC charge letter, he was playing a tournament in Kent in England but had to abandon his team to appeal against the accusations. Having been suspended till the completion of the anti-corruption tribunal's proceedings, Mosharraf is set to miss next month's domestic one-day competition, the Dhaka Premier Division League. But at the moment, he is more interested in being proven innocent.

"Even if I cannot play anymore, my major goal now is to clear my name from this scandal. If I can prove my innocence, I will be the happiest person."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Keith on August 21, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    I perceive a disturbing general pattern emerging here. In the wider world beyond the cricket, the security mentality (triggered by but not limited to terrorism) and computer access to electronically transcribed law enforcement records, some dating back decades, have combined to place millions of people under the official scanner in all sorts of situations, ranging from employment to neighbourhood watch lists of ex-offenders. In the cricket, this expresses itself in ferreting out match fixing (the sport's version of terrorism). While the desire for purity is understandable both in the cricket and the wider world, it can cross the line of decency and fairness into the realm of merciless persecution. Electronic records can rarely if ever can be truly expunged. That may well be what is happening with Mosharraf Hossain. No wonder he is so concerned to clear his name; he may grasp the implications for his future in cricket and beyond. ICC, beware becoming cricket's Grand Inquisitor!

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    I believe that he is innocent he scored 16 runs and got wickets

  • Satish Chandar on August 21, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    @Lees_Legends : I am not defending anyone here but why would someone opt to fix a bowler for batting especially when he bats at no.9? In the game he scored 16 off 27 but nothing suspicious as the score when he came in was 43-7.. Can't do much than bat out and save NRR..

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    @lees: As a no.9 he scored a decent 16 which is also his career highest (lol) but second highest score from the team. I strongly believe he is innocent.

  • Gavin on August 21, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Pretty sure the suspicions are over your batting, not your bowling mate.

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