The International Cricket Council is probing allegations of match-fixing in Bangladeshi cricket with former national captain Mohammad Ashraful among those being questioned, local officials said on Thursday.
ICC anti-corruption inspectors were investigating allegations of wrongdoing during a match in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), a spokesman for the Bangladesh Cricket Board said.
“The allegations involve a match between Dhaka Gladiators and Chittagong Kings in the second edition of the BPL,” spokesman Jalal Yunus said.
The allegations involve a match between Dhaka Gladiators and Chittagong Kings in the second edition of the BPL
The allegations are the latest to hit Bangladeshi cricket including the BPL, which was launched in 2012 in emulation of neighbouring India’s lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
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 this month of three players and scores of bookmakers.
Cricket’s world governing body confirmed that a probe by its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) was under way in Bangladesh.
“The ACSU is looking into allegations about the Bangladesh Premier League,” an ICC spokesman said.
“As the investigations are ongoing and to ensure the process is not jeopardised, we cannot share any further details at this stage,” he said.
Local media reported that 28-year-old Gladiators star Ashraful was allegedly paid about $12,800 to lose the February 2 match, but the cheque he was given later bounced.
Ashraful, who became the country’s youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17 and captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009, confirmed, in brief comments to one local newspaper, that he had spoken with investigators.
“The matter is under ACSU investigation. They called me. I answered what they wanted to know,” the talented right-hander, who carried his country’s hopes in its early years after gaining Test status, was quoted in the Samakal newspaper as saying.
Ashraful could not be reached for comment by AFP. The owner of the club, Salim Chowdhury, has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
ACSU inspectors were expected to submit a report on their investigation to the BCB ‘very shortly’, Yunus said.
“After receiving the report from ACSU we’ll act in line with the BCB’s anti-corruption code of conduct,” he said.
The BCB hired the ICC officials at a cost of $255,000 to monitor the second edition of the BPL that concluded in February, Ismail Haider Mallick, the BPL secretary and a BCB official said.
The probe in Bangladesh comes after the BCB banned indefinitely ex-international spinner Shariful Haque 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