The game of cricket has hardly been bookie-free or free of people who approach various players for multiple reasons over the last few decades. Spot-fixing has been a serious issue and ICC and the cricketing boards have been pretty strict about it. Spot-fixing or match-fixing is one thing but failing to report an approach and not reporting the bookie or the person who approached is another problem and wrong-doing in its own. There have been quite a few players over the last few years who’ve been approached and yet, they’ve not reported the case. Hence, ICC and the respective cricket boards have charged them heavily.
Umar Akmal was the latest casualty for not reporting an approach from a bookie. Thus, here are five players, including Umar Akmal, who were banned for not reporting bookies.
Be it for misconduct or misbehaviour, issues with teammates, outburst with coach Mickey Arthur, problems with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or the most recent, failing to report the approach of a bookie, Umar Akmal’s career has been filled with controversies. The talented Pakistan batsman has been side-lined from cricket for various reasons and it seems that he has spent more time being banned or suspended than playing on the cricket field.
Just ahead of the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) earlier this year, Akmal was reprimanded for misbehaving during a fitness test. And a month later, the PCB charged him with the breach of the anti-corruption code as he failed to report the approach of bookies. He was approached by bookies just before the 2020 season of the PSL but Akmal did not report the approach. After investigation, the 29-year-old cricketer was banned from all representative cricket for a period of three years. This just adds to the long list of troubled cricketing misfortunes for Akmal.
Shakib Al Hasan
When the news about Shakib Al Hasan broke out, almost the entire cricketing fraternity was in shock. The premier Bangladesh all-rounder was approached by bookies in as many as two big tournaments. Yet he failed to report even one of them. There was disbelief as, despite so many workshops and presentations by anti-corruption units all-round and plus, Shakib, a top and experienced cricketer, didn’t report a single corrupt approach.
The two tournaments in which Shakib was approached were both in 2018. One of them was the tri-nation series involving Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. The other was the Indian Premier League (IPL) where the left-handed all-rounder was playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad. In October 2019, the ICC banned Shakib from all cricket for two years but one year of that period was suspended as the experienced Bangladesh cricketer accepted the breach of the ICC’s anti-corruption code. Shakib can return to cricket after October 29th later this year.
Remember Siddharth Trivedi? A lanky pacer from Saurashtra who played for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the early years of the IPL? He played as many as six seasons with RR and featured in 76 matches. However, 2013 was his last season. Yes, it’s that very season when the infamous spot-fixing scandal came to light and three RR players were caught and banned. Trivedi wasn’t one of them.
He had nothing to do with spot-fixing. However, a big mistake that he did was that he failed to report corrupt approaches. Not one, he revealed that he was approached multiple times by bookies but he did not report even one. Trivedi was subsequently banned for a year as he breached the anti-corruption code.
Mohammad Irfan’s career graph has been up and down quite a bit. In fact, over the last few years, it’s been more down than up. Be it personally or professionally, Irfan hasn’t had the best of times. There’s no doubt he is one of the leading fast bowlers in Pakistan and is a key player in every PSL team that he’s played. But it was during the 2017 PSL that he came into the spotlight.
There was a bookie that approached Irfan for spot-fixing but the tall left-arm fast bowler did not report the case. He let it slid under the carpet and it cost him. There were a couple of allegations on him and Irfan pleaded guilty. He was fined $10,000 and was banned for a year.
This may be the most unknown name on this list. For those who don’t know, Irfan Ahmed is an all-rounder who played 14 international matches for Hong Kong. He was approached by bookies on multiple instances and tried to fix matches, with the hot period being between 2012 and 2014. However, he didn’t report even one approach to the ICC.
He breached the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code and pleaded guilty as well. In 2016, the ICC banned him for 30 months (two and a half years) as Ahmed accepted the suspension. Since then, the Hong Kong all-rounder hasn’t played any form of professional cricket.