Ashraful gets 8-year fixing ban

2014-06-18 13:50
Mohammad Ashraful (Getty Images)

Dhaka - Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and ex-New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent were handed lengthy bans from all forms of cricket on Wednesday for their roles in a Twenty20 match-fixing scandal.

A special tribunal set up to investigate claims of corruption in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) announced that Ashraful was banned for eight years and ordered him to pay a fine of one million taka ($12 820) after he admitted match-fixing.

Vincent was banned for three years for failing to report approaches to fix matches. A third former international, Sri Lanka's Kaushal Lokuarachchi, received an 18-month ban for the same offence.

Shihab Jishan Chowdhury, an owner of the league's reigning champions Dhaka Gladiators which employed Ashraful, was banned for 10 years and fined two million taka for being party to an effort to fix a match.

Shakil Kasem, one of the three-member tribunal which handed down the sentences, said the bans would be effective worldwide.

"The charges against the four were brought in accordance with the ICC's (International Cricket Council) anti-corruption code," Kasem told AFP.

"As a result, during the ban period, they'll be barred from playing and all sorts of cricketing activities anywhere in the world."

The ban on Ashraful, 29, is backdated to May last year when the one-time prodigy tearfully admitted having helped fix matches in the tournament, which has been tainted by scandal since its inception.

"I have committed wrongdoing and that's why (I received) the punishment," Ashraful admitted once again Wednesday on private Somoy television. "It's natural. There's no shortcut in life," he said, adding he would decide whether to appeal against the sentence.

Possibly the country's most famous cricketer, Ashraful played 61 Tests, 177 ODIs and 23 T20 international matches.

He said he would return to the game after completing the ban.

"I'll be back to the field even for a day for all these people (who supported me)," he said.

Tribunal chief Khademul Islam Chowdhury told reporters in a press briefing in the Bangladesh capital that of the eight years Ashraful must serve a minimum five-year ban.

"After five years his next three years of suspension can be lifted if he participates in an authorised anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programme organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board, ICC or Asian Cricket Council," he said.

Vincent, who played for the Khulna Royals in last year's BPL, is at the centre of other match-fixing allegations in India and England.

He has represented the Black Caps in 23 Tests and 109 one-day internationals, although he has not played for his country since 2007.

Lokuarachchi, 32, played four Tests and 21 one-dayers for Sri Lanka.

The bans were announced after a copy of a report by the tribunal was leaked, including details of how the ICC's anti-corruption unit let one of the matches at the centre of the scandal go ahead even though investigators knew it was fixed.

The report said Dhaka Gladiators coach Ian Pont alerted the anti-corruption unit to tell them that he had been approached by one of the team's owners, but was instructed to let the match happen regardless.

Tribunal chief Chowdhury said the game should have been stopped by ICC and ACSU, referring to ICC's anti-corruption body.

Read more on:    mohammad ashraful  |  cricket

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