Dubai: The ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ASCU) has charged nine individuals in Bangladesh for breaching the anti-corruption code, cricket's ruling body announced Tuesday. The news came after the ASCU submitted its report on the alleged corruption in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the announcement of which had been delayed until after the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays on request by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). The corruption scandal was unearthed by the ACSU, which was engaged by the BCB to provide anti-corruption cover during the 2013 BPL.
"The charges relate to an alleged conspiracy within the Dhaka Gladiators franchise to engage in match-fixing and spot-fixing activity during matches in the BPL 2013, as well as failures by individuals to report approaches made to them to be involved in the conspiracy," read a statement issued by the ICC on Tuesday.
"Of the nine individuals, seven have been charged for fixing-related offences, with two others charged for failing to comply with their obligation to report corrupt approaches that were made to them. Those facing the more serious fixing-related charges have been provisionally suspended and are immediately barred from participating in all cricket activities organised or recognised by the BCB, the ICC or of the ICC's Member associations, pending resolution of the disciplinary proceedings brought against them."
Those charged have 14 days to indicate whether they wish to plead guilty or to defend themselves against the charges related to illegal activity in the 2013 BPL.
The ICC confirmed that the nine individuals have been issued charge letters detailing the allegations, but stressed, along with the BCB, that those persons remain innocent until proven guilty. In accordance with the BCB's Anti-Corruption Code, their identities will not be disclosed until the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings that have been instituted against them.
In the same statement, the ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "The evidence uncovered is a grave reminder of the need for the sport to remain vigilant against the continuing threat of corruption, and for players and support personnel to take personal responsibility for protecting the integrity of the game."
Added Nazmul Hossain, president of the BCB: "The BCB is committed to a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption in the sport and has demonstrated its resolve to deal robustly with such matters by engaging the services of the ICC and its ACSU."
Those charged have two weeks to indicate whether they wish to plead guilty or defend themselves against the charges brought against them in a full hearing. This hearing would be conducted by an Anti-Corruption Tribunal convened in accordance with the processes set out in Article 5 of the BCB's Anti-Corruption Code.
"Those who plead guilty, or who deny the charges but are later found guilty by an Anti-Corruption Tribunal, would be subject to the sanctions mandated in Article 6 of the BCB's Anti-Corruption Code, which include the impositions of a suspension of: (a) between five years up to a lifetime for the fixing offences; and (b) between one to five years for any failure to report a corrupt approach," said the ICC.
Richardson paid tribute to the work of the ACSU by saying: "During its investigation, the ACSU interviewed a large number of people who were involved in BPL 2013 and collected significant evidence from a number of sources that has culminated in the charges that have been brought today.
Considering the limited resources available to the ACSU and the limitations that apply to its ability to uncover sufficient evidence to disrupt conspiracies of this kind, I am pleased that this investigation has led us to this outcome.
"Clearly there is more work to be done in the prosecution of these cases, but a significant amount of work has already been undertaken, with the BCB's cooperation throughout, and I am grateful to all concerned."