Hong Kong's Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed and Haseeb Amjad have been charged by the ICC with breaching its anti-corruption code for a total of 19 counts. The ICC provisionally suspended the players with immediate effect, pending determination of the charges, a release from the governing body said on Monday.
All three players were charged for matches at the 2015 World Cup Qualifiers played in January 2014, with brothers Irfan and Nadeem also charged for one or more matches at the 2016 World T20. Irfan faces additional charges for a 2014 World T20 warm-up match, against Zimbabwe in Chittagong, and for one or more matches at the World T20 Qualifiers played in 2015. Irfan was charged with nine offences, Nadeem and Amjad five offences each.
The matches under scrutiny from the World Cup Qualifiers played in 2014 include a group game against Scotland and another group match played against Canada four days later. Hong Kong won against Scotland by 17 runs and beat Canada by nine wickets. All three players were charged for these two matches, with Irfan and Haseeb accused of underperforming in the Canada game.
The ICC release did not mention the additional matches Irfan and Nadeem were charged for from the 2016 World T20, and the ones Irfan alone was charged for from the World T20 Qualifiers played in 2015.
Irfan was charged for breaching Articles 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.4.2 and 2.4.4 of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code, while Nadeem and Amjad were charged for breaching Articles 2.1.1, 2.1.3 and 2.4.2 each. The Articles read as follows:
- Article 2.1.1 of the 2012 Code: fixing or contriving or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to an effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the match
- Article 2.1.2 of the 2012 Code: seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept a bribe or other Reward to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the match
- Article 2.1.3 of the 2012 Code: failure, for reward, to perform to one's abilities
- Article 2.1.3 of the 2014 Code: seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept a bribe or other Reward to fix or contrive or otherwise improperly influence the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of one of more of the matches
- Article 2.4.2 of the 2012 Code: failure to disclose full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in conduct that would amount to a breach of the 2012 Code in relation to the match
- Article 2.4.4 of the 2014 Code: failure to disclose full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in Corrupt Conduct under the 2014 Code in relation to one or more of the matches
Twenty-eight-year-old Irfan, an opening batsman and a medium-pacer, had previously been suspended for two-and-a-half- years by the ICC after he admitted to breaching the anti-corruption code. He was not charged with any offence involving corruption on that occasion, but for failing 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 three players have 14 days from October 8 to respond to the charges.