UAE cricketer Ghulam Shabber banned for four years for corruption

Former wicketkeeper, who absconded during the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifier, becomes the sixth national team player to be banned

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 21st, 2018: UAE's Ghulam Shabber in action during the match between the UAE and Scotland. Sunday, January 21st, 2018 at ICC Academy, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Ghulam Shabber, the former UAE wicketkeeper, has been banned from cricket for four years for corruption.

The 35-year-old has not played for the national team since going Awol in the middle of their attempt to qualify for the T20 World Cup, back in 2019.

He left the team hotel in Abu Dhabi in the middle of the night, and ended up back in his native Pakistan before team management had ascertained his whereabouts.

Shabber was subsequently banned by the Emirates Cricket Board for absconding from duty, although he was initially not said to be part of the anti-corruption investigation which has rocked UAE cricket.

However, he has now become the sixth UAE cricketer to be banned after breaching the sport’s anti-corruption code.

The ICC has announced he has been suspended for four years after admitting six breaches of the code, across a number of series in 2019.

His offences included failing to disclose approaches to engage in corrupt conduct in series against Nepal and Zimbabwe in 2019.

Shabber failed to report approaches to engage in corrupt conduct, made via an unnamed UAE teammate.

He also obstructed the ICC anti-corruption unit’s investigation, and failed to surrender his mobile phone for analysis.

“[Shabber] played 40 matches for the UAE and was expected to understand his responsibilities as an international cricketer,” Alex Marshall, general manager of the ICC’s integrity unit, said.

“He also attended at least three anti-corruption education sessions in which players were reminded of their obligations to report any approaches by corrupters.

“It was disappointing to note that he did not report any of the approaches.

“Although he was cooperative when interviewed and expressed remorse, it is only appropriate that he be banned so that a strong message goes out to other players and potential corrupters.”

Previously, Mohammed Naveed, Shaiman Anwar, Amir Hayat and Ashfaq Ahmed had each been banned for eight years for corruption.

Qadeer Ahmed, who - like Shabber — did not contest the charges against him, was also banned for five years.

Updated: September 06, 2021, 3:14 PM