Bangladesh cricketer Mohammad Ashraful today “apologised” to his nation after admitting his involvement in fixing matches, adding another sordid chapter to the spot-fixing saga which has already engulfed Indian cricket.
“Forgive me,” Ashraful told reporters at his residence as he confessed his involvement in match and spot fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League.
“I would only plead that you all forgive me for my wrongdoings against the nation and myself,” Ashraful, Bangladesh’s most talked-about batsman, added.
Bangladesh Cricket Board had already ordered Ashraful to temporarily stay away from cricketing activity pending an ACSU investigation into the alleged match and spot fixing scandal in the BPL.
More than a fortnight after the spot-fixing scandal broke out in the IPL, Ashraful’s suspension is the latest case of corruption in cricket which has seen a number of cricketers being arrested in recent times.
“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,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters.
The International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) has been probing allegations of match-fixing during the Bangladesh Premier League.
The 28-year-old Ashraful was allegedly paid about one million Taka (USD 12,800) to lose the February 2 match between Dhaka Gladiators and Chittagong Kings. The cheque he was given later bounced, according to the local media.
He was also allegedly involved in fixing another match 10 days later, against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, the reports said.
“I’ll ask the press to be patient and wait for some more days. Those who were involved in spot-fixing will have to be given exemplary punishment,” Hasan said. “Otherwise you all know where Bangladesh’s cricket will end up,” he added.
Hasan said ACSU and the BCB will jointly publish the report and if accusations were proved against anyone, he will not be spared.
Ashraful played in 61 Test matches and amassed 2737 runs for an average of 24. He scored six centuries during his Test career which spanned from 2001 to 2013. In ODIs, Ashraful managed 3468 runs in 177 matches for an average of 22.23.
Ashraful became the country’s youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17 and captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009.
He played in 61 Test matches and complied 2737 runs for an average of 24. He scored six centuries during his Test career which spanned from 2001 to 2013. In ODIs, Ashraful managed 3468 runs in 177 matches for an average of 22.23.
The allegations are the latest to hit Bangladeshi cricket, including the BPL, which was launched in 2012 on the lines of the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
The IPL is grappling with its biggest ever credibility crisis after Indian paceman S Sreesanth and three of his Rajasthan Royals team-mates were arrested on charges of spot-fixing. All the four players – Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and Amit Singh – are in judicial custody.
A week after the arrest of the players, BCCI President N Srinivasan’s son-in-law and CSK Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was also arrested on charges of betting along with small-time actor Vindoo Dara Singh, son of legendary wrestler Dara Singh.
The developments led to Srinivasan stepping aside as BCCI President in the wake of intense media pressure with veteran Jagmohan Dalmiya taking charge as the head of a Working Group to look after the day-to-day affairs of the Board.