Bangladesh news August 28, 2013

Mosharraf and Mahbubul plead not guilty

ESPNcricinfo staff

Left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain and fast bowler Mahbubul Alam, two of the nine charged by the ICC on alleged corruption during this season's BPL, have formally pleaded not guilty. The hearing would take place before an Anti-Corruption Tribunal, a 10-member panel headed by the former chief justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury.

Mosharraf was charged for alleged match-fixing in Dhaka Gladiators' February 2 BPL match against Chittagong Kings earlier this year. Mahbubul, his Gladiators team-mate, was accused of fixing the matches against Barisal Burners and Chittagong Kings. Both players have claimed their innocence, and their lawyers have termed the allegations "baseless".

"These are baseless allegations," Barrister Noorus Sadik Chowdhury told the New Age daily after submitting a hardcopy of their appeal to the BCB, having already e-mailed it to the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

"There is no specific allegation made on the basis of any substantial evidence. Because they had made the allegation on the basis of doubt, it can always be questioned."

Noorus also questioned whether the ICC and the ACSU had the right to investigate, claiming it does not follow the BCB's code of conduct.

"We doubt, according to the disciplinary code, whether ACSU and ICC have the authority to investigate this case," Noorus said. "We are still in doubt about that and will be trying to prove that. In the Anti-Corruption Code of the BCB for the participant there are specific sections, and under this code ACSU and ICC are not the authority. They are not authorized to frame charges or investigate."

Advocate Saifuzzaman Tuhin has said that they had asked the BCB to lift the ban on the players.

"In other countries, the accused are permitted to play, but that is not the case here," Tuhin said. "So whether there is any conspiracy needs to be determined. We asked [the BCB] to withdraw the ban on them."

Noorus added that the players have been in turmoil following the allegations. "They are in a depressed state, as both of them are promising players and this kind of allegation at this point of time always puts you in an awkward situation,' Noorus said. "Nevertheless, they are confident. They are not devastated, but they are upset."