Hiken Shah, the Mumbai batsman, has been suspended from involvement in any form of cricket until further notice, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said on Monday (July 13). The BCCI said Shah had been found guilty of breaching their anti-corruption code by approaching one of his Mumbai team-mates playing for an IPL franchise to fix a league game.
In April this year, Rajasthan Royals confirmed that one of their players had been approached “inappropriately” to follow a pre-decided pattern of play in exchange for money.
The player, identified as Pravin Tamble, refused the offer and, reported it to the franchise, who in turn took it to the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ASCU). Tambe told ACSU that he initially thought the offer was a joke, but when Shah spoke about the chances of making money, he realised otherwise. As Tambe informed the authorities of the incident immediately, no action was taken against him.
“After a detailed inquiry into the reported incident, the inquiry commissioner found Hiken Shah guilty of ‘committing breach of Articles 2.1.1; 2.1.2; and 2.1.4 of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code for participants and recommended their provisions to the BCCI President,’” said the BCCI.
Shah, 30, has featured in 37 first-class matches, scoring 2160 runs at 42.35 since his debut in January 2007. A left-hand middle-order batsman, he had a rewarding 2012-13 before his form fell away. He was recalled to the Mumbai squad in a roller-coaster 2014-15 season for them following an injury to Wasim Jaffer, but picked up an injury and failed to make an impact in the two games he played.
Jagmohan Dalmiya, the BCCI president, said: “BCCI has zero tolerance for corruption in the game of cricket. We have and we will take swift action against such incidents to set a precedent and control the menace of corruption in the game. While placing the player under suspension, I have referred the matter to the disciplinary committee of the BCCI to take further action against the player involved.”
The incident ahead of IPL 8 had raised the spectre of the 2013 spot-fixing scandal for Rajasthan, when three players, S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, were arrested by the Delhi police, and eventually handed life bans by the BCCI disciplinary committee.
Shah’s suspension comes a day before the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee is slated to release its findings into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.