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‘Yes, I cheated’


Mohammad Ashraful speaking to the Bangladesh media today

The career of Bangladeshi international cricketer and former captain Mohammad Ashraful is in tatters.

Today Ashraful apologised to the people of Bangladesh after admitting his involvement in fixing cricket matches, adding another sordid chapter to the spot-fixing saga which has already engulfed Indian cricket.

“Forgive me,” Ashraful told reporters at his residence and confessed his involvement in match and spot-fixing in the Bangladesh T20 League.

“I would only plead that you all forgive me for my wrongdoings against the nation and myself,” Ashraful, one of Bangladesh’s most talked-about batsman, added. The Bangladesh Cricket Board had already ordered Ashraful to temporarily stay away from cricketing activity pending an International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit investigation into the alleged match and spot-fixing scandal in the Bangladesh T20 League.

Ashraful had been previously questioned by the ACSU as part of investigations into the Bangladesh Premier League.More than a fortnight after the spot-fixing scandal broke out in the Indian T20 League, Ashraful’s suspension is the latest case of corruption in cricket which has seen a number of cricketers being arrested in recent times.

“As Ashraful has confessed his involvement in fixing to the ACSU team, so he should not be allowed to play any level of cricket until we get a full report of the investigation,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters today.

The 28-year-old Ashraful was allegedly paid about one million taka ($12,800) to lose the February 2 match between Dhaka Gladiators and Chittagong Kings. The cheque he was given later bounced, according to Bangladeshi media. He was also allegedly involved in fixing another match 10 days later, against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, the reports said.

“I’ll ask the press to be patient and wait for some more days. Those who were involved in spot-fixing will have to be given exemplary punishment,” Hasan said. “Otherwise you all know where Bangladesh’s cricket will end up,” he added. Hasan said the ACSU and the BCB would jointly publish the report and if accusations were proved against anyone, that person would not be spared.

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