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News

UAE wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber banned for four years

Among the charges against him were failure to disclose corrupt approaches and obstruction of the ICC's investigations

Ghulam Shabber played 23 ODIs and 17 T20Is for UAE  •  Peter Della Penna

Ghulam Shabber played 23 ODIs and 17 T20Is for UAE  •  Peter Della Penna

UAE wicketkeeper-batter Ghulam Shabber has been banned from all cricket for four years, having been found guilty breaching the ICC's anti-corruption code on six counts. Shabber admitted to the breaches, and will next be eligible to play on August 20, 2025.
Among the charges against him were failure to disclose corrupt approaches in relation to series against Nepal in Jan-Feb 2019 and Zimbabwe in April 2019, failure to disclose details of an approach received by a team-mate for that Zimbabwe series, failure to disclose full details on facts/incidents that might have been evidence of corrupt conduct from others, failure to fully cooperate with the Anti-Corruption Unit's (ACU) investigation - by, among other things, "failing to surrender all his mobile devices upon request" - and obstructing the ACU's investigation by concealing possibly relevant information.
Shabber, 35, played 23 ODIs and 17 T20Is for UAE between 2016 and 2019. He ran into trouble in October 2019, when he "absconded" from the team set-up ahead of a match against Hong Kong during the Men's T20 World Cup qualifiers being played in the UAE. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) subsequently suspended him, and said following an "extensive search" that he had surfaced in Pakistan.
His disappearance from the UAE had coincided with the ICC announcing the provisional suspension of UAE players Mohammad Naveed, Qadeer Ahmed and Shaiman Anwar for various breaches of the anti-corruption code. Qadeer has since been banned for five years, and Naveed and Anwar for eight years apiece.
The ICC's general manager - integrity unit, Alex Marshall, said of the decision on Shabber: "[He] was expected to understand his responsibilities as an international cricketer. He attended at least three anti-corruption education sessions in which players were reminded of their obligations to report any approaches by corrupters.
"It was disappointing to note that he did not report any of the approaches. Although he was cooperative when interviewed and expressed remorse, it is only appropriate that he be banned so that a strong message goes out to other players and potential corrupters."