Corruption in cricket

Ashraful banned for eight years

Mohammad Isam

June 18, 2014

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It's sad but justice has been done - Nafees

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful has been banned for eight years (three years suspended) by the BPL anti-corruption tribunal for his involvement in match and spot-fixing in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League.

Dhaka Gladiators' managing director Shihab Chowdhury has been banned for ten years (three years suspended) for fixing, former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent is out for three years, and Sri Lanka batsman Kaushal Lokuarachchi gets an 18-month ban for failing to report an approach. In February, Vincent had admitted to not reporting a bookie's approach.

Justice Khademul Islam, the convenor of the three-member probe committee, read out the sentences to the media on Wednesday, after he had done so to the defendants, who included Ashraful who had arrived in Dhaka from New York earlier in the day. Khademul was flanked by former cricketer Shakil Kasem and Ajmalul Hossain QC, the other two committee members, in the packed press briefing at the Radius Centre in Dhaka where the tribunal was conducted since November 24 last year.

"On account of four charges Mohammad Ashraful has been banned for eight years," Khademul said. "He will not be able to take part in any authorised cricketing activities anywhere in the world. In his sentence, five years is minimum and after completion of five years, he will have suspended sentence of three years which will be absolved if he takes part in any authorised anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programme under ICC, BCB or ACC during the eight years.

"His suspension began the day he pleaded guilty, which was in May last year. The first charge was fixing four matches, out of which he has been found to be involved in two. The second charge is in regards to the Chittagong match; for this he has to pay Tk 10 lakh to BCB in accordance to article 6.3.3 of the BCB's anti-corruption code. Since all charges are concurrent, he will suffer for eight years."

Khademul did not expand on the other two charges against Ashraful, but added that his confession and guilty plea were taken into consideration when the punishment was decided. "We have taken into account the fact that the accused had confessed and pleaded guilty; the punishment ranges from five years to a life ban."

Chowdhury has been charged on article 6.2 and 6.5, which means he cannot participate in any cricketing activities. He also has been fined Tk 20 lakh, to be paid to the BCB. He has been found guilty of being party to fixing the Chittagong match held on February 2, 2013. This decision was first announced on February 26 this year, when the tribunal released the short verdict.

Vincent too was charged under the same articles as Chowdhury, whiloe Lokuarachchi was charged under article 2.4.2. "The tribunal imposes ineligibility for 18 months on Kaushal Lokuarachchi," Khademul said. "There was one charge against him, and that is his failure to report a corrupted approach. Someone had asked him if he wants to fix match, and he didn't report it. He has been found guilty under article 2.4.2 of the BCB's code.

"Lou Vincent, the New Zealand cricketer, has been punished with a three-year ban. He has been found guilty under article 6.2 and 6.5,"

Ajmalul Hossain said that the entire detailed judgement will be published on the BCB website later, so that there is no confusion about any of the charges. It was yet to be put up when this report was filed.

"We must tell you that during our determination, the defendants have agreed that the detailed judgment will be put up on the BCB website. Everything will be made public," Ajmalul said.

The punished now have 21 days to appeal to Sheikh Sohel, BCB's disciplinary committee chairman.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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