There was trouble for Hong Kong cricket as Irfan Ahmed and Nadeem Ahmed were handed life bans from all forms of cricket. As it turned out, the International Cricket Council (ICC) found the duo guilty of match-fixing. They were not the only ones facing the fire though, a third player, Haseeb Amjad was handed a five-year ban.
The trio were guilty of breaching the Anti-Corruption Code upon an investigation by the ICC Tribunal. According to the Tribunal, all three “fixed or contrived to fix matches, failed, for reward, to perform and failed to disclose approaches to fix”. Apparently, their actions had been taking place during a number of international fixtures across a two-year period.
During their brief tenure as cricketers, Irfan Ahmed had 6 ODIs and 8 T20Is under his belt for Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Nadeem Ahmed, was a little more experienced, having played in 25 ODIs and 24 T20Is. Finally, Haseeb Amjad, who just about escaped, with a lighter sentence, played 7 ODIs and 18 T20Is for Hong Kong.
According to a statement by Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – ACU, “This has been a long and complex investigation which has uncovered systematic attempts to influence moments in matches by experienced international cricketers over a period of time. Their conduct was premeditated and sophisticated and each of the Ahmed brothers sought to corrupt others.
“The main offences relate to the Hong Kong matches against Scotland and Canada where the players fixed specific overs. These matches were won by Hong Kong so it did not materially affect the results of the tournament, however I cannot reiterate strongly enough to any player considering this that we treat any form of fixing – spot or match – with the upmost seriousness.
Marshall was delighted with the fact that fixers are finding it difficult to breach the sport at its highest level. However, he was disappointed to learn that such incidents are occurring at the lower rungs. So, he promised that the ICC would strive to eradicate corruption and educate all the players about the dangers of corruption.
He concluded, “The severity of the offences is reflected in the sanctions and I hope will deter other players from taking this path and demonstrate to cricket fans around the world our commitment to a corruption free sport,”