The ICC has suspended Hong Kong allrounder Irfan Ahmed for two years and six months after he admitted to breaching the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code. Ahmed has accepted the suspension and waived his right to appeal.
Ahmed has not been charged with any offence involving corruption. The ICC's anti-corruption unit, however, established that he failed to disclose "full details of approaches or invitations to engage in corrupt conduct that had been made to him between January 2012 and January 2014".
The allrounder was charged under Article 2.4.2 of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code which states, "Failing to disclose to the ACU (without undue delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in conduct that would amount to a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code."
Ahmed was provisionally suspended in November 2015 following an investigation by the ACU "relating in part to the activities of another individual known to the ACU and suspected of making corrupt approaches to participants". His period of ineligibility will take effect from the date of the provisional suspension (November 4, 2015) and will end on May 4, 2018.
Ronnie Flanagan, chairman of the ACU, said the suspension should serve as a reminder to participants of the need to comply with the code.
"It is pleasing to note that the investigation upon which these charges were founded originated from information that had been disclosed to the ACU," Flanagan said in an ICC release. "This is a clear and welcome demonstration that participants now more and more fully realise their own responsibilities in combating this scourge on the game through prompt and diligent reporting as required by the Code.
"However, it is also indicative of the worrying trend that those intent on corrupting the game are increasingly focusing their activities on Associate Member cricket and that the sport therefore needs to ensure that it is appropriately resourced and protected in that area."
Mike Walsh, chairman of the Hong Kong Cricket Association, said the board supported the ICC's fight against corruption. "The HKCA are pleased this matter has now reached its conclusion and fully support the continued fight against corruption in cricket," Walsh said. "We echo the ICC ACU Chairman's concerns about the recent attention paid to emerging cricket nations by illegal betting networks, and we stand with the ICC to reinforce their efforts in educating our players and officials about the very real risks currently faced by cricket."
The 26-year-old Ahmed has played six ODIs since his debut in 2008, as well as eight T20Is, the last of which was in July 2015. He had been in the top bracket for centrally contracted cricketers in Hong Kong in 2014-15, but was not retained for the 2015-16 season.