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PCB fines cricketers for playing 'disapproved cricket'

Umar Farooq and Peter Della Penna

May 16, 2014

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A blissful Fawad Alam after his maiden ODI hundred, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup final, Mirpur, March 8, 2014
Fawad Alam was one of five players who took part in the games © AFP
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Wahab Riaz, Nasir Jamshed, Fawad Alam, Abdul Razzaq and Shahzaib Hasan have been fined Rs. 500,000 (approximately $5000) for participating in "disapproved cricket" matches in the United States.

The five players played alongside banned Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria in exhibition T20 matches that were not organised by the USACA and they did not have No Objection Certificates from the PCB. The Pakistan board also officially reprimanded its director of marketing, Badar Refaie, who was seen being photographed with Kaneria during the games.

The PCB had launched an internal investigation into the matter in April and the committee established the players did not obtain the required clearance and recommended fines. It noted Badar's participation was a case of poor judgement and let him off with a reprimand.

"They [players] had participated in an event that under the ICC Regulations is considered Disapproved Cricket, their contention of not being aware of the NOC requirement was not accepted by the Committee, which recommended that each of them should be fined Rs. 500,000," a PCB release said.

"As for the Director Marketing, the Committee concluded that he was neither involved in the organisation nor inviting players for the event. He just briefly attended one match only on invitation of the organisers and while his subsequent photograph with Danish Kaneria was a case of poor judgement, there was nothing to suggest that he conducted himself in any inappropriate manner. However, in the Committee's opinion, he should have shown better judgement and avoided being photographed with a banned player. Hence, an official reprimand is recommended."

Fawad, Jamshed and Riaz are currently a part of the month-long summer camp in Lahore organised for 40 probables. Badar, a former USACA executive secretary, holds a directorial position in the PCB and was originally hired for the Pakistan Super League during Zaka Ashraf's regime.

The PCB also sought a reply from Kaneria, who is currently serving a life ban for spot-fixing.

"As Danish Kaneria is serving a life ban and also did not appear at the hearing, nor did he respond to notice in writing, the committee referred his case to the Integrity Committee for further suitable action against him," the board said.

While the ban prevents Kaneria from playing matches under the ECB's jurisdiction, he has been participating in exhibition T20 games in the United States, such April's Friendship Cup matches in Texas and T20s in Florida in December last year.

USACA issued a memo on May 14 warning its players to not participate in unsanctioned tournaments like the Friendship Cup that may include players who have bans imposed by other national boards. However, two USACA national selectors served as coaches or managers at the event and at least 33 current or former USA national team players also played in the USA Friendship Cup. Among them are two USA players who played on the same team as Kaneria, as well as Shahzaib Hasan and former West Indies bowler Jermaine Lawson.

Hasan was also listed on the same Houston Eagles official roster alongside Kaneria at the US Open T20 in Florida in December. Apart from Lawson, there were also seven other former West Indies internationals plus 11 current or former Canada national team players who played in the Texas event.

"All USACA regions, leagues, clubs and players are advised to be careful participating and playing in tournaments involving international players," a USACA statement said. "In a recent incident an ICC and PCB banned player participated in an unsanctioned tournament in the USA. USACA is a strong supporter of the ICC's policies in this area and we are obligated to support and help enforce these policies as part of our ongoing membership.

"Any tournament involving USACA members with international and national US players must be sanctioned by USACA. In tournaments involving international players, those players participate under the control of their national country boards and the ICC, and various rules and regulations have to be followed per a formal event sanctioning agreement.

"All USACA regions, leagues, clubs and players should take great care to be assured that any tournament they participate in with international players have the correct sanctions. US national players should be aware that the ICC can impose penalties and prohibit them playing in ICC tournaments if they are found playing in unsanctioned tournaments involving international players."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna RSS Feeds: Umar Farooq

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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