Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is under investigation by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for suspected match-fixing. The shocking development has emerged in the wake of allegations made by a player involved with the tournament.
Rangpur Riders all-rounder Jupiter Ghosh had earlier claimed that team manager Sanuar Hossain instructed him to fix matches for an undisclosed amount prior to the start of the 2016 edition. The 27-year old also alleged that he was dropped from the side for refusing to comply with the demand.
“The BCB is investigating complaints lodged by a cricketer of BPL 2016 franchise Rangpur Riders against an official of the same team. The BCB recognizes that the allegations and counter allegations brought forward by the player and the official concerned, which includes breach of discipline and corrupt practice, are of serious nature,” the BCB said.
On Monday, Rangpur Riders expelled both Ghosh and Hossain on disciplinary grounds after the former went public with his accusation. The BCB have now suspended the duo from participating in the tournament until the investigation is completed. Rangpur currently lie fifth on the points table (*as of 29th November) and are not yet out of contention to qualify for the knockouts.
A rather chequered history
This is not the first time that BPL has been mired in the fixing quagmire. During September 2012, nationally capped spinner Shariful Haque was found guilty of spot-fixing and received an indefinite ban. In March 2013, the then member of ICC International umpire’s panel Nadir Shah was given a 10-year suspension upon being caught expressing willingness to fix matches during a television sting operation in October 2012.
A bigger scandal broke out in the aftermath of the 2013 edition when former Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful publicly confessed to contriving to fix matches. The Dhaka Gladiators captain had allegedly received around $12,800 to lose a game against Chittagong Kings but the cheque would later bounce.
Incidentally, in the match under question, he labored to a 48-ball 33 even as wickets fell around him in a heap. Although Dhaka lost by 54 runs in that encounter, they would go on to lift the title.
Ashraful admitted, “I made a mistake. This was the first time in my career that the ICC Anti-Corruption (ACU) unit called on me. I did some bad things and I admitted to doing them. I am trying to help them for the sake of cricket. I apologize to the entire nation (Bangladesh), to all my fans and friends. I am guilty about everything. I have disappointed my fans.”
He was handed an eight-year suspension which was later reduced to five years. Meanwhile, Nadir’s ban was lifted earlier this year meaning he would be allowed to return to umpiring in domestic matches.
It is also pertinent to note that the 2014 edition of the tournament had to be canceled in order to weed out all fixing efforts. On the other hand, only a handful of matches remain in the group stages of the 2016 edition with the final slated to be held on December 9th.