Dubai, Aug 13: The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday announced that following a comprehensive investigation carried out by the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, nine individuals have been charged with various offences that are alleged to have been committed under the BCB's Anti-Corruption Code during the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League.
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. Charge letters detailing the allegations have been issued to the relevant individuals today.
But the ICC and BCB emphasised the importance of recognising that all those charged remain innocent until proved guilty.
Moreover, in accordance with the BCB's Anti-Corruption Code, their identities will not be disclosed until the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings that have now been instituted against them.
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.
All those charged now have 14 days to indicate whether they wish to plead guilty or to defend themselves against the charges brought against them in a full hearing, which would take place before 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.
The corruption scandal was unearthed by the ICC's ACSU, which was engaged by the BCB to provide anti-corruption cover during the BPL 2013. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, paid tribute to the work of the ACSU: "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.
"Whilst we have charged some individuals with failing to report corrupt approaches that were made to them, it is important to stress that this investigation has also been built upon, among other things, evidence gathered from other individuals who not only rejected corrupt approaches made to them, but then did what they were supposed to do, and reported them to the ACSU.
"This fact demonstrates that the messages delivered by the numerous anti-corruption education programmes to all participants in the game are effective.
"The continuing fight against corruption in cricket is not only the responsibility of the authorities like the ICC and the BCB, but it is increasingly the personal responsibility also of all players and support personnel (including team owners, administrators, officials and representatives). They must work closely with the authorities and comply with their reporting responsibilities at all times, so that the integrity of the sport can be protected for the greater good.
"Finally, I must also compliment the BCB for its complete support and cooperation throughout this entire process. Its decision to appoint ICC (through its ACSU and legal functions) to investigate and prosecute this matter, demonstrates its commitment to a fair, transparent and independent investigation and prosecution."
The BCB President Nazmul Hassan reiterated that the BCB is committed to protecting the integrity and reputation of the sport in Bangladesh and emphasised his desire that anyone found guilty of breaching the BCB's Anti-Corruption Code should be severely dealt with in accordance with the sanctioning principles set out in the Code.
"As the custodians of the sport in Bangladesh, it is the responsibility of the BCB to protect its integrity for all those who engage in any way with the sport of cricket, whether players, spectators, broadcasters, sponsors or otherwise.
"The BCB is committed to doing everything possible to defend it from the very small group of people who are willing to compromise the values of the overwhelming majority for personal greed and, in so doing, bring disgrace upon themselves and their associates, as well as tarnishing the image of the game," Mr Hassan said.