Two cricketers involved in the corruption scandal that rocked UAE cricket in 2019 have been handed heavy bans by the world body.
Amir Hayat and Ashfaq Ahmed have been banned from all cricket for eight years for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
The bans were backdated to September 13, 2020, when they were provisionally suspended for corrupt behaviour during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier in 2019 in the UAE.
The ICC tribunal found both Amir and Ashfaq guilty of "seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe to fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any international match".
Explaining the decision, Alex Marshall, ICC general manager of the Integrity Unit, said: “Both Amir and Ashfaq had played cricket at the highest level for long enough to understand the threat from match fixers.
“The two UAE players, attended several ICC anti-corruption education sessions, and knew how to avoid becoming involved in any corrupt activity. They failed in these obligations and let down their teammates and everyone involved in UAE Cricket, in their adopted country.
“Their lengthy ban should serve as a warning to others.”
Opening batsman Ashfaq was thrown out of the UAE squad after playing the first two matches at the T20 World Cup Qualifier. Fast bowler Hayat had been overlooked for selection for that competition.
The players were punished for breaching the anti-corruption code "on the basis of his [Ashfaq's] acceptance of a payment of AED 15,000 from a known corrupter on the understanding that further instructions would be provided to him [and Mr Hayat] with regards what they would be expected to do in upcoming matches in the ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019 in exchange for the payment."
This decision comes after Mohammed Naveed and Shaiman Anwar were also banned from all cricket for eight years for their participation in corrupt acts. Also fast bowler Qadeer Ahmed was handed a five-year ban from cricket as part of the investigation into the 2019 scandal.