Pakistan spinner Asif Afridi banned for two years for breaching PCB anti-corruption code

Pakistan spinner Asif Afridi banned for two years for breaching PCB anti-corruption code

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Asif Afridi's a household name in Pakistan's domestic cricket setup


(Cricket Pakistan)

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday announced that domestic spinner Asif Afridi has been handed a two-year ban from all forms of cricket for two separate breaches of the anti-corruption code. The specific violation was not revealed but a lenient sentence was handed given the circumstances.

Asif Afridi, a slow left-arm orthodox spinner hailing from Peshawar, would be ineligible to play cricket for the next two years courtesy of a ban handed by the Pakistan Cricket Board. The authorities listed two separate breaches, of Articles 2.4.10 and 2.4.4 respectively, as the reason behind their decision a few months after the 36-year-old was banned in September following allegations of a misdemeanor. The effective period of the ban would include the suspension interval as well, starting September 12 of last year.

Article 2.4.10 was considered the more serious offence, pertaining to "directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach any of the foregoing provisions of this Article 2.4," and was thus worth a two-year ban. On the other hand, violation of Article 2.4.4 which talks about reporting corrupt approaches only led to a six-month ban which shall run concurrently with the two-year ban. 

"For the breach of Article 2.4.10, Mr Afridi was handed a two-year period of ineligibility, while he was given a six-month ban for the violation of Article 2.4.4. Both the periods of ineligibility will run concurrently and will commence from the day of his provisional suspension, which commenced on 12 September 2022," the PCB said in a statement.

Afridi had previously been called up to the national squad albeit he is yet to make his debut. The bowling all-rounder made a name for himself in the Pakistan Super League with economic displays for Multan Sultan, his career T20 economy reading an excellent 6.97 while also averaging 22. PCB President Najam Sethi acknowledged the unfortunate circumstances behind the suspension, as reflected in the lenient ban considering the possibility of potential life bans for violating the two Articles in question.

"It gives the PCB no joy to suspend an international cricketer for two years, but we have a zero-tolerance approach towards such offenses. As the game's governing body, we need to make examples, handle such matters robustly, and send out strong messages to all cricketers. It is bitter fact that corruption poses a threat to our sport as selfish corrupters lure cricketers in different ways and methods.”

“That's precisely why the PCB has been investing heavily in player education so that they remain vigilant and can help the PCB eradicate this menace by reporting approaches if, despite all our best efforts to create awareness, a player falls victim to his greed, then the PCB has no sympathy," he was quoted saying by ESPN Cricinfo.

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