Ashraful admits match-fixing

2013-06-04 14:52
Mohammad Ashraful (Getty Images)

Dhaka - Bangladesh cricket chiefs announced on Tuesday they had suspended former skipper Mohammad Ashraful after he admitted to match-fixing.

Ashraful made his confession during questioning by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit which has been probing claims of fixing during international matches and a domestic Twenty20 tournament, said Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan.

"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," Hassan told reporters.

"I have spoken with Ashraful. He told me that he has confessed everything to the ACSU," Hassan said, although he added that the 28-year-old 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."

The ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) team left Bangladesh on Monday and is expected to hand over the findings of its probe within a week, Hassan said.

Ashraful was allegedly paid about one million taka ($12,800) to lose a Bangladesh Premier League match on February 2 between his Dhaka Gladiators team and the Chittagong Kings but the cheque later bounced, according to local media.

The batsman was also allegedly involved in fixing another match 10 days later against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, reports have said.

Ashraful became Test cricket's youngest centurion in 2001 at the age of 17 and captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009.

During the ACSU's probe into the BLP, the officials discovered allegations of fixing during some international matches, Hassan said, prompting a wider probe.

"This is no more limited to the BPL. The ICC itself will launch a full-fledged massive investigation into those allegations," Hassan said, without giving details.

Hassan made the comments after he was asked about a recent newspaper report alleging Ashraful's involvement in fixing in Twenty20 matches in Sri Lanka against Bangladesh.

Hassan was speaking after a meeting of the board in the capital Dhaka, called to deal with the allegations which have been widely reported in local media.

The BCB hired the anti-corruption officials at a cost of 20 million taka ($255,000) to monitor the second edition of the BPL that concluded in February.

The allegations are the latest to hit Bangladeshi cricket, including the BPL. Ex-international spinner Shariful Haque was handed an indefinite ban 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 banned international umpire Nadir Shah for 10 years after a sting operation by an Indian TV channel found him apparently willing to fix matches for cash.

Indian cricket is embroiled in its own scandal involving alleged betting and spot-fixing during the just-finished Indian Premier League season, with the arrest last month of three players, scores of bookmakers and others.

Ashraful admitted to match-fixing and apologised for the latest damaging scandal to hit the sport.

"I should have not done this injustice to the nation. I feel guilty," he told the local Independent TV channel in a televised interview.

"I would only say 'please all forgive me, my conduct was improper'," he added.

Read more on:    mohammad ashraful  |  cricket

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