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Ban on match-fixing accused Ashraful reduced to five years

DHAKA: Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful will be eligible to return to competitive cricket in 2016 after an appeal panel on Monday reduced an eight year ban for match-fixing to five years with two suspended.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board disciplinary panel hearing decided to set aside the original sanction and replace it with a five-year ban starting from August 2013.

The suspension of the last two years is subject to the 30-year-old player’s participation in an anti-corruption education and training programme to be organized by BCB and/or the International Cricket Council.

The panel said Ashraful would therefore be entitled to return to cricket on or around Aug. 13, 2016 “upon production of a certificate of good conduct from ICC.”

The player told the top cricket website that he was satisfied with the outcome.

“I had wanted a reduction in the ban similar to what has been given to me,” he said. “I’m very happy, now I can play (sooner).

“I should have been punished, yes, but I think this is good for me.”

Ashraful was handed his original eight year ban after he was found guilty of involvement in match-fixing in the 2013 domestic Twenty20 competition.

The right-handed batsman, who had played 61 tests and 177 one-day internationals since his 2001 debut, confessed to match-fixing after being quizzed by ICC anti-corruption officials in June 2013.

Monday’s hearing also reduced to one year an 18 month ban on Sri Lanka’s Kaushal Lokuarachchi, who had failed to inform the authorities that they had been approached to fix matches while playing in the BPL.

The tribunal upheld a 10 year ban on the managing director of BPL champions Dhaka Gladiators, Shihab Jishan Chowdury, for his part in the match-fixing scandal but quashed a fine. – Reuters

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