Bangladesh news January 19, 2014

Hearing into BPL corruption begins in Dhaka

The full hearing into the alleged match-fixing and spot-fixing in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) began in Dhaka on Sunday. Only one of the ten accused was present, though it is not entirely clear whether he faced the tribunal members, while another didn't attend or send a legal representative.

The other eight accused were represented by lawyers, including Yasin Patel who is the legal representative of Mohammad Ashraful and Darren Stevens, who was seen walking out of the tribunal building at the end of the day.

Later, the individual legal representatives of Mahbubul Alam and Mosharraf Hossain, the Dhaka Gladiators franchise and its CEO, Gaurav Rawat, spoke to the media. Barrister Nawroz MR Chowdhury, representing Dhaka Gladiators, said that he had raised the question about ICC's role in this tribunal.

"Today's preliminary hearing was about whether the ICC has the jurisdiction to bring allegations against us and whether the BCB has given the ICC the authority to do so," Chowdhury said. "We put forward all the irregularities. The judges have asked for a day to consider whether they can work through these irregularities. The ICC also spoke. If the tribunal feels it is right, they will start the hearing from Tuesday."

Their specific claim regarding the ICC is whether the governing body, in regulating the BPL corruption matter, is acting as an employee of the BCB. "We have questioned the ICC's contract with the BCB, which we consider faulty," Chowdhury said. "Even if we consider the contract to be correct, will we see the ICC as the BCB's employees? We want to know if a superior authority can work as the inferior of an inferior authority."

A press release from the BCB's anti-corruption tribunal confirmed that the hearing will continue on the morning of January 21.

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