The International Cricket Council has banned Oman player Yousuf Al Balushi for seven years after he accepted four charges for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. The charges relate to attempting to influence team members to engage in corruption during the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifier.
The ICC has suspended Oman cricketer Yousuf Abdulrahim Al Balushi for seven years for severe breaches of the ICC anti-corruption code. Al Balushi was sanctioned under four different articles of the code, which he accepted following a tribunal hearing. ICC General Manager of Integrity, Alex Marshall said that the offence was very serious, a failed attempt to get a teammate to engage in corrupt activity in high profile games.
"Without Mr Balushi's admission of guilt and full cooperation throughout our investigation, the ban could have been significantly longer. The player has also indicated that he is willing to contribute to future integrity education programmes on our behalf to help younger players learn from his mistakes," said Marshall, reported Cricbuzz.
According to the ICC release, Al Balushi was contacted in August 2019 by Mr X, an individual he knew from the unsanctioned Arabian Carnival League, asking whether they could do some "work" together at the Qualifiers. In particular, Al Balushi was asked to put Mr X in contact with three specific Omani cricketers
Mr X introduced Balushi to two other men who told him he needed to get a particular Oman player on board. The fix would involve this player getting out for less than a pre-agreed amount of runs. To show that the fix was on, the player would have to use an orange or black coloured grip on his bat, and he would then have to act on a signal from the stands.
Al Balushi put the offer to the Oman cricketer in question, stating he would be paid 3000-4000 Omani Riyal in exchange for his fixes in three games. The player rejected the approach and reported it to the ACU. Prior to being interviewed by the ACU, Al Balushi then deleted most of his messages with the conspirators. When interviewed by the ACU, he admitted to his offences.
Al Balushi was provisionally suspended on January 23 after the ICC charged him for breaching its code on the following four counts:
Article 2.1.1: Being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive in any way the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of matches in the ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019.
Article 2.1.4: Attempting to solicit, induce, entice, persuade, encourage or intentionally facilitate a Participant to breach Article 2.1.
Article 2.4.4: Failing to report the approaches or invitations that you received from three different individuals to be a party to an agreement or effort to fix matches in the ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019.
Article 2.4.7: Obstructing or delaying an investigation carried out by the ACU in relation to possible Corrupt Conduct under the Code, including by concealing or tampering with information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence of or lead to the discovery of evidence of Corrupt Conduct under the Code.
Oman qualified for the first round of the T20 World Cup which will be played later this year in Australia after finishing second in Group B in the qualifiers.