ECB con­firms ab­scond­ing Shab­ber is also part of ICC’s anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The National - News - - SPORT - Paul Radley

Even as the UAE play­ers were try­ing to come to terms with the fact there will be no T20 World Cup for them next year, they were un­able to es­cape the cloud of cor­rup­tion.

A lit­tle over an hour af­ter the end of their 90-run loss to Scot­land at the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium, the Emi­rates Cricket Board is­sued a state­ment say­ing Ghu­lam Shab­ber is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for cor­rup­tion.

The wick­et­keeper went ab­sent without leave eight days ear­lier, af­ter two matches of the Qual­i­fier in Abu Dhabi, and flew to Pak­istan.

Ini­tially, the is­sue was said to be in­de­pen­dent from the ICC’s cor­rup­tion probe that had al­ready seen four UAE play­ers – Mo­hammed Naveed, Shaiman An­war, Qadeer Ahmed, and Ashfaq Ahmed – banned.

The tour­na­ment’s tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee per­mit­ted a re­place­ment for Shab­ber.

Two days later, the ICC has said he was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated, too. “The ECB has to­day con­firmed the board has sus­pended UAE player Ghu­lam Shab­ber for ab­scond­ing,” the board said in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day.

“The board also con­firms he is part of the on­go­ing ICC anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” When con­tacted by The Na­tional last week, Shab­ber had said he was ready to com­ply with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but that he had re­tired from cricket.

“If there is some­thing with re­gards to anti-cor­rup­tion, I am ready to co-op­er­ate in Pak­istan,” he said. “But I have de­cided cricket is not in my fu­ture. I have left cricket be­hind, and want to move on with my life with my fam­ily.”

Shab­ber had left the coun­try with no ex­pla­na­tion on the night of Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 21.

His ab­sence was first noted when he failed to show for the team meet­ing the following morn­ing. With the team al­ready in dis­ar­ray, Shab­ber’s de­par­ture in­fu­ri­ated those left.

The play­ers are be­lieved to have helped them­selves to the kit he left be­hind.

“No for­mal charges have been laid against the player at this stage,” the ECB state­ment read. “The board fully sup­ports the ICC and the ICC anti-cor­rup­tion unit in their ef­forts, and de­nounces any ac­tiv­i­ties of cor­rup­tion.”

Yes­ter­day was also the dead­line for Shaiman, Naveed and Qadeer to have re­sponded to the charges brought against them by ICC for breaching cricket’s anti-cor­rup­tion code.

While Shaiman has re­mained silent, Naveed and Qadeer are un­der­stood to have con­tacted the ICC to con­test at least some of the con­tent of their charges.

How­ever, both have ac­knowl­edged they did fail to re­port sus­pect ap­proaches, which was the of­fence for which Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan was given a two-year ban on Tues­day.

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