The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday banned Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan from all cricket for two years, with one year of that suspended, after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
Shakib failed to report to the ICC a corruption proposal made by a blacklisted bookie two years ago.
Shakib, the publication stated, had turned down the approach but failed to report the offer to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Department, which the global governing body requires in such cases.
“Shakib Al Hasan is a highly experienced international cricketer. He has attended many education sessions and knows his obligations under the Code. He should have reported each of these approaches,” said ICC General Manager (Integrity) Alex Marshall.
“Shakib has accepted his errors and cooperated fully with the investigation. He has offered to assist the Integrity Unit in future education, to help younger players to learn from his mistakes. I am happy to accept this offer.”
The ICC, Samakal says, had tracked call records of the said bookie and linked him with Shakib.
A thread of WhatsApp messages between Shakib Al Hasan and an individual named Deepak Agarwal has exposed how the Bangladesh superstar was approached and pestered for “inside information”.
Shakib, one of the most celebrated cricketers from Bangladesh, is known for his level-headed approach towards the game. He had previously reported corrupt approaches to ICC in 2008 but failed to do so this time and accepted the charges laid by ICC’s anti-corruption unit, landing him the sanction.
ICC said that Shakib was interviewed twice by the ACU in Bangladesh on January 23 and August 27 this year, when he was specifically asked about an individual “known to the ACU and suspected of involvement in corruption in cricket” named Deepak Agarwal.
Shakib, during the interviews, had admitted to be contacted by Deepak Agarwal as well as his failure to report the advances.
According to the detailed ICC verdict on the matter, the Bangladeshi cricketer confirmed that his telephone number was provided to Agarwal by another person whom he knew, adding that the contact was made for the first time in mid-November 2017 when Shakib was playing in the Bangladesh Premier League.
In January 2018, when Shakib was playing a tri-series for Bangladesh, he received first dubious text from Agarwal.
The message received to Shakib on January 19 read “do we work in this or I wait till the IPL”.
The ICC, in it detailed verdict, mentions that the word “work” in the message was a reference to Shakib providing “inside information” to Agarwal. Shakib chose not to report about this contact at the time.
Shakib was again contacted by Agarwal during the tri-series to seek information from him. The message sent to Shakib on January 23 reads, “bro anything in this series?”
The Bangladeshi cricketer confirmed to the ICC that the message was a request to him from Agarwal to provide inside information in relation to the series.
The Bangladeshi cricketer was once again contacted by the same individual during the Indian Premier League’s season last year.
On April 26, 2018, Shakib received a Whatsapp message from Agarwal asking if a particular player was going to be playing the match on that day.
Agarwal also asked Shakib about his dollar account details and also talked about bitcoins. During one of the conversation, Shakib had told Agarwal that he would like to meet him first.
According to the ICC’s detailed verdict, the conversation on April 26 2018 included a number of deleted messages.
“Shakib confirmed that these deleted messages contained requests from Mr Agarwal for inside information,” it says.
Shakib further said that he did not accept or act upon any of the approaches he received from Agarwal and did not provide him with any of the information requested, nor did he accept or receive any money or other reward from him.
However, he did not, at any time report any of the approaches to the ACU or any other relevant authority, thus violating the ICC code. Subsequently, Shakib admitted to the charges and agreed to the ICC sentence.
Shakib said he had concerns regarding Agarwal, adding that he was a bit “dodgy” and that following their conversations he had the feeling that Agarwal was a bookie.