UAE cricket in crisis: timeline of a chaotic few weeks

The corruption scandal that has rocked the Emirates' cricketing world

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 31, 2019: UAE's captain Mohammad Naveed directs his field in the the match between the UAE and Nepal in an international T20 series. Thursday, January 31st, 2019 at ICC, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak/The National
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Thursday, October 10

Officers from the ICC’s anti-corruption operation enter the players and match officials area during the UAE’s practice match against Namibia at the ICC Academy. After the game, Mohammed Naveed, the UAE captain, seam-bowler Qadeer Ahmed and batsman Shaiman Anwar, are led away for questioning.

Friday, October 11

Ahmed Raza is the UAE representative at an ICC promotional photo-call in Abu Dhabi for the captains of the 14 teams in the T20 World Cup Qualifier – not Naveed.

Saturday, October 12

The Emirates Cricket Board confirm Raza has replaced Naveed as UAE captain, and that the fast bowler has been withdrawn from the squad for the Qualifier – but no reasons are given as to why.

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Nov 18 , 2015 : Qadeer Ahmed of UAE playing during the cricket match between UAE vs Hong Kong at ICC Academy Oval at Dubai Sports City in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For Sports Stock. Story by Paul Radley. ID Number : 50851
 *** Local Caption ***  PS1811- UAE CRICKET38.jpg
Qadeer Ahmed denied being involved in any illegal activity. Pawan Singh / The National

Monday, October 14

Shaiman and Qadeer Ahmed are also absent from the UAE squad for their first officially warm up match ahead of the Qualifier, against Scotland. Waheed Ahmed, Darius D'Silva and Junaid Siddique are the late replacements. Again, no official reason is given for the changes.

Wednesday, October 16

Naveed, Shaiman and Qadeer are charged by ICC with multiple breaches of cricket's anti-corruption code. Naveed says: "It is my mistake, and I feel guilty. My family is let down, my friends are let down. Everybody is let down."

Shaiman Anwar has played 40 one-day internationals and 32 Twenty20's for the UAE. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Shaiman Anwar has played 40 one-day internationals and 32 Twenty20's for the UAE. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Thursday, October 17

Qadeer admits failing to report a "wrong approach," but adds: "Financially, after playing four years of international cricket, me and my family are still in the same position, living in a rented house. I have not been involved in any illegal activity."

Monday, October 21

The UAE beat Hong Kong by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi. But shortly after victory is sealed, it is announced opening batsman Ashfaq Ahmed has been provisionally suspended by the ECB, as part of the ICC investigation.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - October 14, 2019: Scotland's Tom Sole bowls UAE's Ashfaq Ahmed during the ICC Mens T20 World cup qualifier warm up game between the UAE and Scotland. Monday the 14th of October 2019. International Cricket Stadium, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Ashfaq Ahmed is bowled out during the UAE's T20 World Cup Qualifier warm-up victory over Scotland on October 14. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Tuesday, October 22

UAE lose to Jersey in the Qualifier. It then revealed wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber is absent without leave, having failed to show for a team meeting a day earlier, or board the bus to the ground. Instead, he had flown to Pakistan with no explanation.

Saturday, October 26

Shabber tells The National that he is willing to comply with the ICC's corruption probe from his home in Pakistan, but that he will not play cricket again. "I have left cricket behind, and want to move on with my life with my family," he says.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 21st, 2018: UAE's Ghulam Shabber makes 50 during the match between the UAE and Scotland. Sunday, January 21st, 2018 at ICC Academy, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Ghulam Shabber made an unexpected exit from the UAE to return to Pakistan, but denied any wrongdoing over corruption. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Wednesday, October 30

The national team's hopes of making it to the T20 World Cup in Australia next year end, as they are beaten by Scotland in the last-chance eliminator in Dubai. An hour later, the ECB confirm Shabber has been suspended for "absconding" and is part of the corruption investigation.

Thursday, October 31

The ECB announce the appointment of retired Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Azam Khan to a new role as head of security and anti-corruption in the game here, as they try to "take a firm stance against activities of corruption."