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Former Bangladesh skipper Ashraful gets 8-year ban in BPL fixing scandal

Former Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful has been handed an eight-year ban and fined one million Taka after being found guilty of fixing matches in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)

Dhaka: Bangladesh cricket authorities banned former captain Mohammad Ashraful for eight years on Wednesday, more than a year after he confessed to have fixed matches during the country's domestic Twenty20 event -- the Bangladesh Premier League.

"He was found guilty of all four charges and is banned from cricket for eight years," said Khademul Islam Chowdhury, the head of a special panel set up by the Bangladesh board to investigate match-fixing allegations.

"In addition, he will have to pay a fine of one million taka ($12,820)," Chowdhury, a former high court judge, told reporters.

Mohammad Ashraful
Mohammad Ashraful

Shihab Jishan Chowdhury, an owner of the reigning BPL champions Dhaka Gladiators, which employed Ashraful, was banned for 10 years (three years suspended) and fined two million taka for being party to an effort to fix a match.

The duo was penalised for indulging in corruption during the league's second edition last year.

The offence relates to a match between Dhaka Gladiators and the Chittagong Kings. Ashraful was allegedly paid about one million taka (USD 12,800) to lose the match on February 2, but the cheque he was given had bounced. The batsman was also involved in fixing another match 10 days later, against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, it was reported in the media here. 

The punishment handed out today completes a dramatic fall from grace for the batsman, who became the country's youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17. He later captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009. The 29-year-old had been under suspension from all forms of cricket since June last year after he admitted to the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit that he had indulged in fixing BPL matches.

The tribunal also announced that former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent would be banned for three years and Sri Lanka's Kaushal Lokuarachchi for 18 months after failing to inform authorities they had been approached to fix matches in last year's BPL.

Shakil Kasem, one of the three-member tribunal which handed down the sentences, said the bans would be effective anywhere in the world.

"The charges against the four were brought in accordance with the ICC's (International Cricket Council) anti-corruption code," Kasem told AFP.

"As a result, during the ban period, they'll be barred from playing and all sorts of cricketing activities anywhere in the world."

The ban on Ashraful, who became the country's youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17, would be backdated to May last year when he admitted helping fix matches in the second edition of the BPL.

Vincent, who is at the centre of other match-fixing allegations in India and England, played for the Khulna Royals in the BPL. He has also represented the Black Caps in 23 Tests and 109 one-day internationals.

Lokuarachchi, 31, played four Tests and 21 one-dayers for Sri Lanka.

While Lokuarachchi had admitted his offence as soon as he was charged, Vincent conceded his involvement during the course of the investigation. 

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