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

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