UAE bowler Qadeer Ahmed accepts five-year ban over corruption charge

Paceman tells The National: 'I never took a single dirham and I never bowled any illegal ball in my career'

UAE bowler Qadeer Ahmed has been banned for five years by the ICC. Pawan Singh/  The National
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Qadeer Ahmed has urged other players to learn from his mistakes after he was handed a five-year ban from cricket that will likely end his career.

The former UAE fast bowler will be ineligible to play again until 2024, after accepting six charges of breaching cricket’s anti-corruption code.

His offences ranged from failing to report corrupt approaches, disclosing inside information, and obstructing the ICC’s investigation.

He was provisionally suspended in October 2019, along with his teammates Mohammed Naveed and Shaiman Anwar, each of whom was banned for corruption for eight years in a separate case earlier this year.

According to the ICC report into the case, Qadeer had fail to report an offer of Dh60,000 to Dh70,000 to “do bad bowling” in the UAE’s one-day international series in Zimbabwe in April 2019.

"In particular, they asked him to give away 70/80 runs while bowling," the report stated.
In the three matches he played in that series, Qadeer had figures of 1-57, 0-42, and 1-16.

The report said he remained in contact with one of the corruptors, whom he regarded as a friend, and provided inside information in relation to the UAE’s series in the Netherlands in August 2019.

The information related to which overs he would bowl against the Netherlands, and was offered “in circumstances where he knew that the information might be used for betting purposes,” according to the report.

The UAE side of the time, captained by Naveed, had a regimented game plan which meant the bowlers generally had a good idea of which overs they would bowl before the innings started.

Qadeer maintains he has never conspired to fix any aspects of matches, but acknowledged his actions were wrong.

I never took a single dirham and I never bowled any illegal ball in my career

"I never took a single dirham and I never bowled any illegal ball in my career," Qadeer told The National.

“But, I am sorry and gutted that, as per the ACU rules, I was wrong on different occasions.

“I should have informed them of whatever was happening around me, and should have informed them about approaches.

"I would like to encourage cricketers to please report the small things, even if they think it's not important.

“I know now nothing can be done, so I accept what my punishment is.”

Alex Marshall, the ICC’s head of integrity, said the five-year suspension reflected the seriousness of the charges.

“Qadeer [Ahmed] is an experienced international cricketer who has received anti-corruption training,” Marshall said.

“He should have avoided the people he knew were corrupt and reported any suspicions immediately.

“He has accepted he did wrong and requested an agreed sanction in place of a tribunal. His five-year period of ineligibility is a reflection of the seriousness of his breaches and the number of charges.

“He has accepted responsibility for his actions and expressed regret for those he has let down.”

Two more UAE players, opener Ashfaq Ahmed and fast-bowler Amir Hayat, are also awaiting judgement in their own cases after being charged with breaching anti-corruption rules.

Furthermore, in announcing the ban for Qadeer, the ICC have also added supplementary charges to those of Mehardeep Chhayakar.

When Naveed, Shaiman and Qadeer were provisionally suspended 18 months ago, Chhayakar was also charged with a number of offences.

In the intervening time, it is understood Chhayakar has been uncontactable by the ICC, which includes the investigators writing to his mother.

Described as having “played domestic cricket in Ajman,” he now faces six charges of breaching cricket’s ant-corruption code.

The ICC laid the charges on its own behalf as well as on behalf of Cricket Canada, related to the Global T20 tournament in 2019.

Chhayakar’s alleged offences include attempting to contrive to fix aspects of the Zimbabwe v UAE series in 2019, as well as the T20 tournament in Canada, and failing to cooperate with the ICC investigation.

The banned UAE players

Mohammed Naveed

  • Role: Former captain and fast bowler
  • Charges: He was found guilty of two breaches of anti-corruption rules. They included "being party to an agreement fix or influence improperly" matches at the T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019
  • Ban: Eight years

Shaiman Anwar

  • Role: Top-order batsman
  • Charges: Like Naveed, he was found guilty of two charges, including conspiring to fix aspects of matches at the T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in the UAE
  • Ban: Eight years

Qadeer Ahmed

  • Role: Fast bowler
  • Charges: six counts of breaching cricket's anti-corruption code, including disclosing inside information that might have been used for betting purposes, and obstructing the investigation
  • Ban: Five years