Afghan cricketer handed six-year ban over corruption charges

12 May 2020

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has banned national team player Shafiqullah Shafaq from all forms of cricket for six years after he admitted to breaching the organisation’s Anti-Corruption Code.

Shafaq, a wicketkeeper and right-handed batsman, accepted four charges related to the Code, in reference to the first edition of the Afghanistan Premier League T20 (APL T20) in 2018 and the 2019 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

The first breach was in relation to Article 2.1.1 of the Code, which refers to fixing or influencing, or being party to an agreement to fix, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of a domestic match.

Shafaq also admitted to a breach of Article 2.1.3, which relates to seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept a bribe or reward to fix, contrive or influence any aspect of a domestic match.

This in turn resulted in a breach of Article 2.1.4, in reference to attempting to solicit, induce, entice, persuade, encourage or intentionally facilitate a participant to breach Article 2.1.

In addition, Shafaq was found in breach of Article 2.4.4, which refers to failing to disclose to the designated anti-corruption official full details of any approaches or invitations to engage in corrupt conduct.

The ACB said Shafaq chose to admit the charges levied against him and agreed to the sanctions in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing.

Speaking about the charges, ACB senior anti-corruption manager, Sayed Anwar Shah Quraishi, said without Shafaq’s admission of guilt and full cooperation with ACU during the investigation, the ban could have been much longer.

Quraishi added that Shafaq is willing to contribute to ACB anti-corruption unit (ACU) future integrity education programs to help younger players learn from his mistakes.

“This is a very serious offence where a senior national player is involved in the corruption of a high-profile domestic game in APL T20 2018.” Quraishi said. “The player had also attempted but failed to get one of his teammates to engage in corruption in another high-profile game during the BPL 2019."

“It is an alert for all those players who think their illegal activities concerning the game of cricket will not be disclosed to the ACB's ACU. Our coverage is vaster than what is perceived.”

“During our educational program, we always instruct players to report each suspicious activity in order to keep the game cricket and their own careers clean of any corrupt practices.”

The ban comes after Pakistan Cricket Board last month banned national team player Umar Akmal from all forms of the sport for three years after he was found to have breached its regulations related to match-fixing.