Afghanistan cricketer Shafiqullah gets 6-year ban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghanistan Cricket Board has banned its former player Shafiqullah for six years from all cricket-related activities after the wicketkeeper-batsman pleaded guilty to four charges related to breaches of the board’s anti-corruption code.

The 30-year-old Shafiqullah has played 24 one-day internationals and 46 Twenty20s for Afghanistan but has not featured in an international game since September last year when he played in a T20 against Bangladesh. The right-handed batter made his debut for Afghanistan in 2009.

The charges related to the first edition of the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) in 2018 and last year’s Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

The four breaches included “fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly" a match.

“This is a very serious offense where a senior national player is involved in the corruption of a high-profile domestic game in APL T20 2018. The player had also attempted but failed to get one of his teammates to engage in corruption in another high-profile game during the BPL 2019,” ACB senior anti-corruption manager Sayed Anwar Shah Quraishi said in a statement on Sunday.

“It is an alert for all those players who think their illegal activities concerning the game of cricket will not be disclosed ... Our coverage is vaster than what is perceived.”

Quraishi said that Shafiqullah admitted his guilt and fully cooperated throughout the investigation, and was also willing to take part in “future integrity education programs to help younger players learn from his mistakes.”

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