BCB misses corruption-hearing deadline
The BCB has failed to begin the hearing of its anti-corruption tribunal within the stipulated time frame of 40 days from the issue of charges against the players accused of fixing during this season's BPL. The hearing should have begun today but the board has not yet formed the ten-member disciplinary panel, even though two of the accused had served the BCB with legal notices to reverse their provisional suspensions.
Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, and BCB president Nazmul Hassan had revealed the accusations against nine people on August 13 and Richardson had confirmed the chargesheets were being sent to them on that day. According to the BCB's anti-corruption code, the hearing should "take place no longer than 40 days after the receipt by the participant of the notice of charge."
"We could not complete the formation of the panel because of procedural delay," BCB's acting chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said. "When the formation is completed and starts its work, it will be visible. We are taking steps according to legal advice."
According to Article 5 of the code, after the accused lodge an appeal within 14 days of receipt of the charge, the matter shall be referred to the chairman of the disciplinary committee. He will be appointed by the BCB, who will then appoint ten members of the panel. Three of them have to be retired supreme or district court judges, three socially recognised civilians and four cricket experts. From these ten candidates, the chairman will appoint three members to form the anti-corruption tribunal to hear each case.
If a full hearing doesn't take place within three months of the imposition of the provisional suspension, the accused are "entitled to apply to the chairman of the disciplinary panel (sitting alone) to lift the provisional suspension."
Two days after the joint announcement in Dhaka, the BCB appointed Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury, former chief justice of Bangladesh's Supreme Court, as the chairman of the disciplinary committee. He had confirmed his acceptance, and while there have been reports of several professors and former Bangladesh cricketers being part of the tribunal, there has been no official announcement.
The BCB's long-standing problem of not being able to deal with more than one matter at time could be the reason for the delay. Most of the employees, particularly the acting chief executive, have been busy preparing for elections. The board is also dealing with the 2014 World Twenty20 and the problem of unfinished venues.
Barrister Noorus Sadik, representing Mosharraf Hossain and Mahbubul Alam, who had admitted to being accused of corruption, said he had taken the legal notice to the BCB after the players had appealed within the 14-day period.
"We had served the BCB with the legal notice today," Sadik said. "We are going to the court next week. As it is a civil dispute we will be going to take the case to the sub-judge court. There were procedural mistakes in the whole process. Two cricketers are already playing while [my] clients are imposed with provisional suspension."
Mosharraf was charged with alleged match-fixing in Dhaka Gladiators' 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.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here