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Cricket Hong Kong

Match-fixing: Hong Kong vows to uphold integrity of cricket after three players are charged in corruption probe

Chairman John Cribbin says the body will continue to work with the ICC to educate players and ensure the game in the city is corruption-free

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 7:28pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 11:29pm

Cricket Hong Kong (CHK) has vowed to uphold the integrity of the sport after three local players were charged by the world governing body, ICC, with breaching its Anti-Corruption Code, including match-fixing.

Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed and Haseeb Amjad were on Monday hit with a total of 19 charges related to international matches played by Hong Kong between 2014 and 2016. All three players have been suspended by the ICC and CHK has followed suit.

“While Cricket Hong Kong is unable to comment directly on these very serious allegations, we are committed to upholding the integrity of the sport and have taken all measures required by our own anti-corruption practices and those of the ICC,” said CHK chairman John Cribbin. “We will continue to work closely with the ICC to educate the players and safeguard the integrity of the game worldwide.”

Irfan had completed a 30-month ban on May 4, 2018 after he admitted failing to report several requests to influence the outcome of matches. He never acted on the approaches.

The latest charges against Irfan involve Hong Kong’s ICC World Cup qualifying match against Scotland on January 13, 2014, in Queenstown, New Zealand, which Hong Kong won by 17 runs; World Cup qualifier, Hong Kong versus Canada on January 17, 2014, in Rangiora, which Hong Kong won by nine wickets; T20 Hong Kong versus Zimbabwe on March 12, 2014, in Chittagong, which Hong Kong won by four wickets; the World T20 qualifiers in 2015 and the World T20 finals in 2016.

Charges against Nadeem, Irfan’s older brother, involve Hong Kong versus Scotland, Hong Kong versus Canada and the World T20 finals in 2016. Haseeb’s charges relate to Hong Kong versus Scotland and Hong Kong versus Canada.

CHK announced on Tuesday that it had provisionally, indefinitely and immediately suspended the three players from all cricket activities in Hong Kong pending the result of ICC investigations.

The players have 14 days, from October 8, to respond to the charges.

Cricket Hong Kong said it would it not make no further comment in respect of these charges.

CHK has published its own anti-corruption code and practices include:

* Players and support staff are regularly briefed by ICC Anti Corruption Unit officials prior to ICC or ACC tournaments on the ICC Anti-corruption code.

* At a minimum, a national player or support staff member will receive a briefing every six months.

New players and support staff to the national team are briefed fully prior to their first official engagement.

* The team and support staff are regularly engaged by team management on matters pertaining to the anti-corruption code with a particular focus on encouraging players and support staff to report any direct and indirect (or implied) approaches that may reasonably considered as invitations to engage in any form of corrupt practice.

* All players have uploaded a smartphone app released by ICC in July 2018 that gives guidance on anti-corruption and anti-doping as well as facilitating a means of reporting any breaches of the codes and/or improper approaches to players and support staff.

* All major events (Sixes and Blitz) have ICC ACU presence.

All-rounder Irfan was one of Hong Kong’s most promising players, playing six one-day internationals and eight Twenty20 matches. The 28-year-old made his ODI debut for Hong Kong against Pakistan in Karachi in June, 2008 and his last match was in November, 2014 against Papua New Guinea in Townsville, Australia.

His older brother Nadeem, 31, is one of Hong Kong’s top spinners, playing 25 ODIs and taking 38 wickets. His ODI debut came against Pakistan in Colombo in July 2004 and his last match was less than a month ago against India in the Asia Cup finals in Dubai.

Medium pacer Haseeb played seven 50-over games for Hong Kong between 2014 and 2016.

The CHK actions means they will not be able to play domestic cricket and are barred from playing in overseas T20 tournaments.

The Hong Kong team are now in Papua New Guinea for a series but none of the three are in the squad.