Ashraful ban reduced to five years

September 30, 2014

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful was given a lifeline to revive his career after a special appeal panel reduced his lengthy ban by three years on Monday, allowing him to return to competitive cricket as early as August 2016. The 30-year-old cricketer was slapped with an eight-year ban from all forms of cricket in June this year after he was found guilty of match-fixing by a tribunal set up by the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
But retired High Court judge Md Abdur Rashid, the chairman of BCB’s disciplinary panel, who was the only member of appeal panel, ‘set aside’ the sanction and reduced the ban to five years.
The new five-year ban included a two-year suspended sentence provided the star batsman participates in the ‘anti-corruption education and training programme to be organised by the BCB and the ICC [International Cricket Council].’
Ashraful would now ‘be entitled to return to cricket on or about 13 August 2016 upon production of a certificate of good conduct from ICC,’ the panel said in its verdict.
There was no comment from the batsman, who fell from grace last year after admitting match-fixing during the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
The panel, however, upheld Tk 10 lakh fine imposed on Ashraful by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
The panel upheld the 10-year ban imposed on Dhaka Gladiators managing director Shihab Chowdhury but relived him of Tk 20 lakh fine handed down by the tribunal.
In a significant decision, the appeal panel imposed a fresh 10-year ban on Dhaka Gladiators chairman Salim Chowdhury, who was earlier released by the Tribunal.
The panel turned down the appeal of BCB and ICC against the release of six other players and officials and upheld the verdict of Anti-Corruption Tribunal in this case.
The panel also reduced the ban of Sri Lankan cricketer Kaushal Lokuararchchi by six months, allowing him to play cricket from August this year. Earlier, he was banned for 18 months.
In a joint statement, the ICC and BCB said they would be ‘carefully reviewing’ the verdict and would ‘decide on their next steps, including whether or not to appeal’.
All parties involved in the trial can make a further appeal against this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland within 21 days as the last remaining option.
The scam came to light in May last year when Ashraful, the one-time prodigy, tearfully admitted having helped fix matches in the tournament, which has been tainted by scandal since its inception.

-Input from New Age

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