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Global sports round-up

Shariful banned for spot-fixing

Shariful Haque

DHAKA – Former Bangladesh cricketer Shariful Haque has been banned for an indefinite period after spot-fixing allegations made against him before the Bangladesh Premier League by Mashrafe Mortaza were substantiated, BCB president said today after a board meeting.

Shariful’s activities around cricket will also be carefully monitored by the Board.

“He [Shariful] will not be allowed to take part in any cricketing activities in the country in any capacity,” AHM Mustafa Kamal, the board chief, said.

“The sub-committee investigated allegations about the cricketer who tried to influence the BPL. The indefinite ban will be applicable from today. This message will go to everybody. Nobody can make use of him. We will inform the ICC as well. We took the decision based on whatever we could substantiate on.”

The recommendation for Shariful’s banning was made by a committee formed immediately after Mashrafe’s claims that he had been approached a day before the BPL kicked off.

The committee, headed by BCB’s senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam, interviewed several individuals including Sharfiul and Mashrafe during and after the BPL and, according to sources in the BCB, had made this recommendation in July.

The decision has made Shariful the first Bangladesh player to be banned for spot-fixing. He played one ODI for Bangladesh, against India, in 1998 and had unofficially retired from the game. He worked with Biman, the national airline, which Mashrafe represents in the Dhaka Premier League.

Shariful, 36, said he would appeal.


Zenit spends big for Witsel, Hulk

ST PETERSBURG – Zenit St Petersburg have signed FC Porto striker Hulk and Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel in an €80 million double swoop.

Brazil international Hulk and Belgium international Witsel have both signed five- year contracts with the big-spending Russian club. Zenit reportedly paid €40 million for each player.

Zenit spokesman Dmitry Tsimmerman said: “It’s now official. Both players had signed five-year deals.”

Hulk had long been linked with a switch to Chelsea, and had also interested Tottenham, but Porto’s asking price proved a stumbling block for the Premier League clubs.

The 26-year-old striker scored 54 goals in 103 league matches to help Porto to win three Portuguese league titles and the 2011 Europa League trophy after joining from Japanese J-League side Tokyo Verdy in 2008.

Highly-rated midfielder Witsel, 23, only joined Portuguese side Benfica in 2011 from his hometown club Standard Liege, where he started his career in 2006.


Jizelle Salandy

PORT OF SPAIN – Late boxer Jizelle Salandy was recently posthumously honoured at a gala ball at Trinidad Hilton on a night dubbed as the “50 Greatest Legends of Sport 1962-2012” in Trinidad.

Salandy died in a car accident on July 4, 2009 at age 21, while the holder of eight world titles. Her award was received by her former manager, Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC) special adviser Boxu Potts.

Potts, normally feisty and evocative, was subdued and reflective about the accolade.

“It is always emotional when I have to deal with anything with Jizelle Salandy,” Potts explained. “Sometimes I feel pain, sometimes I feel angry, and in a greater part I feel proud of the achievements that we’ve had together.

“Collecting this award tonight means a lot to me, and I hope it does say something to the youth of Trinidad and Tobago, who she always wanted to inspire.” He said Salandy was “very proud…very humble” whenever she was honoured and

he revealed that he oftentimes told Salandy she could become T&T’s greatest-ever sporting hero if she followed the “script” of an athlete’s life.

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