Bangladesh player banned for spot-fixing

Shariful Haque Prothom Alo

Former Bangladesh cricketer Shariful Haque has been banned for an indefinite period after spot-fixing allegations made against him before the Bangladesh Premier League by Mashrafe Mortaza were substantiated, BCB president said after a board meeting. Shariful's activities around cricket will also be carefully monitored by the Board.

"He [Shariful] will not be allowed to take part in any cricketing activities in the country in any capacity," AHM Mustafa Kamal, the board chief, said. "The sub-committee investigated allegations about the cricketer who tried to influence the BPL. The indefinite ban will be applicable from today. This message will go to everybody. Nobody can make use of him. We will inform the ICC as well. We took the decision based on whatever we could substantiate on."

The recommendation for Shariful's banning was made by a committee formed immediately after Mashrafe's claims that he had been approached a day before the BPL kicked off. The committee, headed by BCB's senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam, interviewed several individuals including Sharfiul and Mashrafe during and after the BPL and, according to sources in the BCB, had made this recommendation in July.

The decision has made Shariful the first Bangladesh player to be banned for spot-fixing. He played one ODI for Bangladesh, against India, in 1998 and had unofficially retired from the game. He worked with Biman, the national airline, which Mashrafe represents in the Dhaka Premier League.

Shariful has said that although he hasn't received board's communication, he will appeal to the BCB to change the decision. "I will definitely appeal against this ban, one hundred percent," he told ESPNcricinfo immediately after the announcement was made. "I haven't received any word on it from the cricket board, but I will defend myself and I will let everyone know about it."

In February, it was reported in some Dhaka newspapers that Mashrafe was asked to provide information on whether he would play certain matches and even whether he'd be wearing his sunglasses or cap. In exchange, he was told, he would be paid 15-20% of the earnings from the spot-betting.