The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber for "absconding" from the UAE team set-up during the ongoing men's T20 World Cup qualifier at home. The ECB also confirmed that Shabber is part of an ongoing ICC anti-corruption investigation.
Shabber had gone missing ahead of UAE's match against Hong Kong on October 21 in Abu Dhabi, leaving the squad and country without explanation, only to later resurface in Pakistan.
His sudden disappearance had come in the wake of an ICC diktat that had provisionally suspended four UAE players - Mohammad Naveed, Qadeer Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar and Ashfaq Ahmed - for various breaches of the anti-corruption code. At the time of the disappearance, UAE team manager Peter Kelly had said that Shabber was not part of an investigation.
The ECB said in a release that it had conducted an extensive search for Shabber when it was discovered that he wasn't on the team bus that left for the Hong Kong match. This, it said, included liaising with UAE authorities to track him and ensure his "wellbeing and safety".
Through this extensive search, the board discovered that he had flown out in the early hours of October 21.
The board has not pressed formal charges against Shabber yet.