Sus­pended fast bowler, who has been charged along with Shaiman and Qadeer, tells Paul Radley that he should have re­ported ap­proach by a ‘fixer’ right away

The National - News - - SPORT -

I am a suc­cess­ful crick­eter – not only in As­so­ciate cricket, but in all the world. My fo­cus is ... not on be­ing a bad boy

Mo­hammed Naveed says he ac­cepts that he has made a mis­take that has “let ev­ery­body down”, af­ter be­ing charged with breach­ing cricket’s anti-cor­rup­tion code.

The fast bowler was sus­pended by the ICC on Wed­nes­day, along with fel­low play­ers Shaiman An­war and Qadeer Ahmed, af­ter an anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion that has left UAE cricket in dis­ar­ray.

Naveed was charged with two of­fences as per the game’s anti-cor­rup­tion 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 an ICC state­ment.

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 ac­cepts he made a mis­take in not re­port­ing an ap­proach made to him by some­one he de­scribes as “a fixer”.

The 32-year-old bowler had met them af­ter be­ing as­sured he was an of­fi­cial rep­re­sent­ing a fran­chise in the T10 League.

He in­sists he ended the con­ver­sa­tion as soon as he re­alised he had been mis­led, but ad­mits he did not re­port the ap­proach, as per the ICC’s anti-cor­rup­tion pro­to­col. “I am very sin­cere about my game, I am very sin­cere about my ca­reer,” Naveed told The Na­tional.

“I have been suc­cess­ful for the UAE around the world, in leagues, for fran­chises. That is be­cause I am very sin­cere about my game.

“Now this has hap­pened, I feel guilty. Why did I not talk to the board, why did I not talk to the ICC? It is my mis­take, and I feel guilty.

“My fam­ily is let down, my friends are let down. Ev­ery­body is let down.”

Naveed had been due to cap­tain the na­tional team in the T20 World Cup Qual­i­fier, which starts in Abu Dhabi on Fri­day.

The three play­ers had been named in the UAE squad for the tour­na­ment, but were all with­drawn last Thurs­day evening, af­ter anti-cor­rup­tion of­fi­cers met with them at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

Naveed and Shaiman are the UAE’s high­est-ranked bowler and bats­men re­spec­tively, while Qadeer is a reli­able seam bowler.

“I’m only scared of my God, not any­body else,” Naveed said. “I speak very truly. My pas­sion is cricket, I love cricket, my life is cricket.

“I am a suc­cess­ful crick­eter – not only in As­so­ciate cricket, but in all the world. Look at my rank­ing, look at my econ­omy rate. My fo­cus is only on cricket, not on be­ing a bad boy.

“This is my ca­reer. I have been suc­cess­ful, be­cause I only fo­cus on my per­for­mance, not on bad peo­ple.”

The case of the na­tional team trio is the lat­est in a num­ber of anti-cor­rup­tion cases that have in­volved fig­ures re­lated to UAE cricket.

“The board fully sup­ports the ICC and the ICC Anti-Cor­rup­tion Unit in their ef­forts, and de­nounces any ac­tiv­i­ties of cor­rup­tion,” the Emi­rates Cricket Board said in a state­ment.

Chris Whi­teoak / The Na­tional

Mo­hammed Naveed has been stripped of cap­taincy as ICC probe con­tin­ues

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