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01 October 2023

Fixing claim hits Bangladesh Premier League


Bangladesh's inaugural Twenty20 league opened on a sour note on Thursday when a leading player revealed he had received a spot-fixing proposition.

Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said he had been approached by an unnamed player regarding potential spot-fixing when he turns out as skipper of the Dhaka Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

"I have told my team management about the approach and I'm sure they will do the right thing," Mortaza told the Cricinfo website. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed the report.

Dhaka newspapers reported that Mortaza said he would step down from the team captaincy if he suspected any irregularities once the tournament -- styled along the lines of the successful Indian Premier League (IPL) -- got going.

Mortaza was asked to provide information on whether he would play certain matches and even whether he would be wearing his sunglasses or a cap when he takes the field.

In exchange, he was told, he would be paid 15-20 percent of the earnings from the spot-betting.

BCB officials said Mortaza has been asked to reveal the name of the player who made the approach.

"This is a very serious offence," BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP. "We have zero tolerance towards these things and will do whatever is needed to nail it down quickly.

"Mortaza has to disclose the name of the player. It needs to be addressed very seriously."

Mortaza will be speaking to officials of the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Security Unit before the matches get under way on Friday, Yunus said.

Thursday is the opening ceremony for an event where West Indians Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard are the leading players. The six-team league is to be played in Dhaka and Chittagong, with the final on February 29.

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, the most expensive foreign player at last month's auction after being sold to the Dhaka Gladiators franchise for $700,000, is not taking part due to international commitments.

Pakistan begin a one-day series against England in the United Arab Emirates this week.