Spot-fixing: Mashrafe approached by a former national cricketer

Published: February 10, 2012

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The money-spinning Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 is set to kick off today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, but it was the spot-fixing allegation that hogged all the spotlight yesterday, even dwarfing the much hyped opening ceremony.

Pace spearhead Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the captain of the Dhaka Gladiators, has told two Bengali newspapers on Wednesday that a former national cricketer approached him with a spot-fixing offer in the lead-up to the BPL, the new venture of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

The reports said Mashrafe was asked to provide information on whether he would play certain matches and even whether he’d be wearing his sunglasses or cap. In exchange, he was told, he would be paid 15-20 per cent of the earnings from the spot-betting.

When contacted, Mashrafe said: “I don’t want to talk about it again. I have told the team management and I am sure they will take the right steps in this regard. From what I’ve heard, the newspapers have reported it correctly. I haven’t seen them but it was said that a player from Biman made the offer. I will stick with it. Please, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

The pace bowler has also threatened to pull out of the team’s captaincy if he found anything wrong in his team during the tournament.

His disclosure was a talking point of the day.

“We learnt about it and asked the concerned authorities to investigate the allegations. It can happen and that’s why we asked all the franchises to appoint a security official to make sure the players are aware of the consequences of this kind of crime,” said Gazi Ashraf Hossain, chairman of the BPL governing council.

He also informed that an International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) officer was already in Dhaka for the BPL and would be made aware of this new information. “We will definitely take all necessary action in this regard,” he added.

“This is a very serious offence,” said BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus.

“We have zero tolerance for these things and will do whatever is needed to nail it down quickly,” said the board’s media committee chairman, adding that Mashrafe had been asked to reveal the name of the player who made the approach.

Mashrafe is likely to speak to officials of ACSU in a couple of days.

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