UAE cricket is in turmoil after three of leading players were charged with breaching cricket’s anti-corruption rules.
Mohammed Naveed, the UAE captain, Shaiman Anwar and Qadeer Ahmed have been suspended, having been charged with 13 counts of breaching the ICC’s anti-corruption code.
Fast-bowler Naveed has been charged with two counts of breaching the ICC code.
The first relates to “contriving, or being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of matches in the upcoming ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019,” according to the ICC.
The second relates to “failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in conduct in relation to the ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019 that would amount to corrupt conduct under the code.”
Naveed has been charged with two similar offences related to playing in the T10 League, which is sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board, and has its anti-corruption operation overseen by ICC.
Shaiman, who is the highest-placed UAE batsman in the ICC rankings for T20 cricket, has been charged with similar breaches of the ICC code to Naveed.
Qadeer has been charged with six breaches, which includes collusion with Mehardeep Chhayakar, who is described by the ICC as “a participant in cricket in Ajman”, and who also faces a charge of his own.
Qadeer, a pace bowler for the national team, was charged with “failing to disclose to the [anti-corruption unit] full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in conduct that would amount to corrupt conduct under the Code in relation to the Zimbabwe v UAE series in April 2019.”
The other charges for Qadeer were:
- disclosing inside information to Chhayakar in August 2019 in circumstances where he knew or should have known that the information might be used for betting purposes.
- failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in conduct that would amount to Corrupt Conduct under the Code in relation to the Netherlands v UAE series in August 2019.
- failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any facts or matters that came to his attention that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under the Code by another Participant.
- failing or refusing to cooperate with an investigation being carried out by the ACU in relation to possible corrupt conduct under the code.
- obstructing or delaying an ACU investigation including by concealing information that may be relevant to that investigation.
Each of the players had been set to feature in the T20 World Cup Qualifier, which starts in Abu Dhabi on Friday. However, they were withdrawn from the squad on Thursday night.
That day, the UAE had played a practice match against Namibia at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
During the latter part of the match, officials from the ICC’s anti-corruption operation had entered the players and match officials area, and were seen in conversation with UAE players.
While Namibia continued to practice on the field after the premature finish to the match, the UAE’s players had a debrief in the dressing room.
They then moved to an office in the main Academy building for a further meeting. Naveed had been present, despite not playing in the match against Namibia.
A day later, the ICC released publicity photos of the 14 team captains for the Qualifier, with Ahmed Raza the UAE’s representative rather than Naveed.
The players have 14 days from 16 October 2019 to respond to the charges.
“Emirates Cricket Board acknowledge the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit investigation involving three of its players,” the governing body for the game in the UAE said in a statement.
“The board fully supports the ICC and the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit in their efforts, and denounces any activities of corruption.”