ICC, on Monday, released a statement that it had decided to make brothers Irfan and Nadeem Ahmed ineligible to participate in any cricketing activity during their lifetime after they were found guilty of match-fixing. Compatriot Haseeb Amjad was also handed a five-year suspension for the same.
After an extended investigation into match-fixing accusations placed on three Hong Kong’s cricketers, the ICC Tribunal has finally released a judgement on the matter. It has decided to ban brothers Irfan Ahmed and Nadeem Ahmed from the game for a lifetime, while Haseeb Amjad has got off relatively easier having been handed just a five-year ban. The three had already been placed under provisional suspension by the ICC in October last year.
Irfan Ahmed was found guilty of breaching as many as nine sub-articles of the 2012 and 2014 codes while Nadeem was found to have committed three offences. Both the cricketers had been involved in match-fixing and spot-fixing for a period of more than two years between 2014 and 2016, including some matches of ICC’s marquee event, the 2016 T20 World Cup.
Amjad, on the other hand, was also found guilty of three offences under articles 2.1 and 2.4 of the ICC Code, but they were of a lower severity leading to a smaller punishment. Neither of the three agreed to disclose the details of their operations.
“This has been a long and complex investigation which has uncovered systematic attempts to influence moments in matches by experienced international cricketers over a period of time. Their conduct was premeditated and sophisticated and each of the Ahmed brothers sought to corrupt others,” General Manager of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit Alex Marshall was quoted saying on the ICC website.
"The main offences relate to the Hong Kong matches against Scotland and Canada where the players fixed specific overs. These matches were won by Hong Kong so it did not materially affect the results of the tournament, however, I cannot reiterate strongly enough to any player considering this that we treat any form of fixing - spot or match - with the utmost seriousness. With the fixers finding it harder than ever before to penetrate the highest levels of the game, we are increasingly seeing them turn their attention to other avenues in the sport and we will continue to work with Members to ensure players at all levels are educated about the dangers of corruption,” he added.
The three players have a combined experience of 76 international matches across the two limited-over formats of the game.
“The severity of the offences is reflected in the sanctions and I hope will deter other players from taking this path and demonstrate to cricket fans around the world our commitment to a corruption free sport,” Marshall concluded.