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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 March 2019

ICC thanks Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed after coach Irfan Ansari banned on corruption charges

Captain reported Ansari after being approached in 2017 'with a view to engaging him in corrupt conduct'

Sarfraz Ahmed, right, who is in the UAE for the Pakistan Super League, has received plaudits for helping an ICC probe. KM Chaudary / AP Photo
Sarfraz Ahmed, right, who is in the UAE for the Pakistan Super League, has received plaudits for helping an ICC probe. KM Chaudary / AP Photo

Irfan Ansari, the UAE-based cricket coach, has been banned from all cricket for 10 years after an International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption tribunal.

He was found guilty of breaching three counts of the anti-corruption code.

The tribunal heard that Ansari approached Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed during the Pakistan series with Sri Lanka in the UAE in October 2017 “with a view to engaging him in corrupt conduct by soliciting information from him”.

“Mr Ansari is bound by the code as a result of his affiliation to the Pakistan cricket team and also as a result of being a coach to two teams that participate in domestic matches in the UAE,” the ICC said in a statement.

Ansari was found guilty of three offences, related to trying to induce Sarfraz to provide inside information, as well as refusing to co-operate with the subsequent investigation.

“This included a request by the ICC ACU to take possession of and/or copy or download information from his mobile devices,” the ICC’s statement read.

Ansari has had a long association with UAE cricket after he first arrived from Karachi to work and play cricket in Sharjah in the 1980s.

In recent years, he had served as a coach within age-group cricket, as well as to a number of different senior level teams in the domestic game. He has also served as team manager to the national side at times.

However, teams and cricket councils swiftly moved to disassociate themselves from him after he was widely named in media reports related to the incident in October 2017.

News that Sarfraz had reported a suspicious approach broke midway through that series against Sri Lanka in the Emirates.

Earlier in 2017, the Pakistan Super League had been overshadowed after several players were suspended for their involvement in alleged corruption, as well as for failing to report approaches.

 The ICC's Anti-Corruption Tribunal  found Irfan Ansari guilty of breaching three counts of the anti-corruption code. Satish Kumar / The National
 The ICC's Anti-Corruption Tribunal  found Irfan Ansari guilty of breaching three counts of the anti-corruption code. Satish Kumar / The National

Alex Marshall, the general manager of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit, praised Sarfraz, who was on Wednesday night back in action at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, where he was captaining Quetta Gladiators against Multan Sultans in the PSL.

“I’d like to place on record my thanks to Sarfraz Ahmed who showed true leadership and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach,” Marshall said.

“He recognised it for what it was, rejected it and reported it. He then supported our investigation and subsequent tribunal.

“This is the first time we have prosecuted for failure to cooperate with an investigation since the new rules enabling us to demand the participants hand over their phone for examination and the sanction reflects the seriousness of the offence.

“It is an important tool to aid our investigations and continue in our efforts to rid the sport of these corrupters.”

Updated: February 20, 2019 09:42 PM

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