Mohammad Ashraful suspended by Bangladesh Cricket Board amid fixing allegations

Mohammad Ashfraful won’t be allowed to play in any format till the investigation is over © AFP

Dhaka: Jun 4, 2013

The cricketing world was rocked by yet another fixing scandal with former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful being suspended for corruption, adding another sordid chapter to the spot-fixing saga which has already engulfed Indian cricket.
More than a fortnight after the spot-fixing scandal broke out in the Indian Premier League, Ashraful’s suspension is the latest case of corruption in cricket which has seen a number of cricketers being arrested in recent times.
“As Ashraful has confessed his involvement in fixing to the ACSU team, so he should not be allowed to play any level of cricket until we get a full report of the investigation,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters.
“I have spoken with Ashraful, he told me that he has confessed everything to the ASCU,” Hassan said, adding that the batsman had not disclosed details of his confession to him.
“This is not punishment, this is a temporary measure until we get the full report. We have to take exemplary punishment for such acts, otherwise cricket in Bangladesh will be doomed,” he said.
Ashraful admitted to his involvement and apologised for his conduct.
The International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) has been probing allegations of match-fixing during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), a Twenty20 competition.
The ACSU team left Bangladesh on Monday and is expected to hand over the findings of its probe within a week, Hassan said.
During the ACSU’s probe, the officials suspected many of the matches in the league were not clean, Hassan said.
“This is no more limited to the BPL. The ICC itself will launch a full-fledged massive investigation into those allegations,” he said.
The alleged fixing involves a match between the Dhaka Gladiators and the Chittagong Kings teams during the second edition of the BPL.
The 28-year-old Ashraful was allegedly paid about one million taka (USD 12,800) to lose the February 2 match, but the cheque he was given later bounced, according to the local media.
He was also allegedly involved in fixing another match 10 days later, against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, the reports said.
The allegations are the latest to hit Bangladeshi cricket. Former Bangladesh spinner Shariful Haque was banned in September after an inquiry found him guilty of spot-fixing during the first edition of the BPL.
A Pakistani national was also arrested on separate spot-fixing charges last year. In March, the BCB handed umpire Nadir Shah a 10-year ban after a sting operation by an Indian TV channel found him apparently willing to fix matches for cash.
Ashraful became the country’s youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17 and captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009.
He played in 61 Test matches and complied 2737 runs for an average of 24. He scored six centuries during his Test career which spanned from 2001 to 2013. In ODIs, Ashraful managed 3468 runs in 177 matches for an average of 22.23.
The allegations are the latest to hit Bangladeshi cricket, including the BPL, which was launched in 2012 on the lines of the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
The IPL is grappling with its biggest ever credibility crisis after Indian paceman S Sreesanth and three of his Rajasthan Royals team-mates were arrested on charges of spot-fixing. All the four players — Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and Amit Singh — are in judicial custody.
A week after the arrest of the players, BCCI President N Srinivasan’s son-in-law and CSK Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was also arrested on charges of betting along with small-time actor Vindoo Dara Singh, son of legendary wrestler Dara Singh.
The developments led to Srinivasan stepping aside as BCCI President in the wake of intense media pressure with veteran Jagmohan Dalmiya taking charge as the head of a Working Group to look after the day-to-day affairs of the Board.

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