The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has suspended Mohammad Ashraful amid an investigation into spot-fixing, it was announced on Tuesday (June 4).
Ashraful, the former Bangaldesh captain, has admitted his guilt and apologised. “I should have not done this injustice to the nation. I feel guilty. I can only say, please all forgive me, my conduct was improper,” he told the Independent TV channel.
Ashraful’s comments came shortly after Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, announced the suspension of the right-hand batsman, pending the International Cricket Council (ICC)investigation.
“As Ashraful has confessed his involvement in fixing to the International Cricket Council’s ACSU (Anti Corruption and Security Unit) team, he should not be allowed to play any level of cricket until we get a full report of the investigation,” said Hassan.
“I have spoken with Ashraful, he told me that he has confessed everything to the ASCU,” he added, although he clarified that Ashraful had not disclosed details of his confession to him.
ICC anti-corruption officials were investigating allegations of wrongdoing during a match in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) last year. “The allegations involve a match between Dhaka Gladiators and Chittagong Kings in the second edition of the BPL,” confirmed Jalal Yunus, a BCB spokesperson earlier.
“I felt that I have done an injustice, so I have told them (the ACSU team) the truth at the first chance. I tried to help the ICC as much as I could for the welfare of our cricket,” said Ashraful. “You all know me, I have been playing international cricket for 12 years. I did not tell them a single lie.”
Meanwhile Hassan also claimed that the ICC would launch a wider probe into alleged fixing during international matches, but an ICC spokesman declined to comment on the matter. “The ICC can confirm that the ACSU has interviewed Mohammad Ashraful who is helping us in the ongoing investigations. Due to sensitivities around these investigations, the ICC cannot share any more details at this stage,” an ICC spokesman said.
Ashraful became the country’s youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17 and captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009.
Local media reported that Ashraful, 28, was allegedly paid about one million taka ($US 12,800) to lose the February 2 match, but the cheque he was given bounced.
Ashraful, of Dhaka Gladiators, was also allegedly involved in fixing another match ten days later, against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, reports in New Age and several local dailies said.
The BCB hired the ICC officials at a cost of 20 million taka ($US 255,000) to monitor the second edition of the BPL that concluded in February, Ismail Haider Mallick, the BPL secretary and a BCB official, confirmed.
The probe comes after the BCB indefinitely banned Shariful Haque, the former international spinner, in September after an inquiry found him guilty of spot fixing during the first edition of the BPL.
In March this year, the BCB banned Nadir Shah, an international umpire, for ten years after a sting operation by an Indian TV channel allegedly found him willing to fix matches for cash.