Pakistan bowler Mohammad Irfan handed one-year ban after spot-fixing approach

George Flood
Mohammad Irfan

Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Irfan has been handed a one-year suspension by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after admitting to twice failing to report details of illegal approaches made by bookmakers amid a spot-fixing scandal that tainted the 2017 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 franchise competition.

Irfan has also been fined PKR 1 million (£7,700), although six months of that aforementioned ban could be suspended providing there are no further breaches of the PCB's Anti-Corruption Code and no previous violations come to light. The 34-year-old will also provide "substantial assistance" to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department and participate in programmes of anti-corruption education.

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Irfan's central contract with the PCB has also been suspended and he will not be offered another during the 12-month period of ineligibility that officially began on 14 March.

Addressing the media at a press conference held on Wednesday (29 March), the Islamabad United left-armer admitted he had made a mistake in not reporting the approaches in time but insisted he was not involved in any corrupt activity.

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"I was approached twice and it was my mistake that I did not report it to PCB's anti-corruption unit," he said.

"I admit my mistake for not reporting it to the ACU but I didn't get involved in any corrupt activity and gave a shut-up call to those who approached me. I ask the whole nation to forgive me if anyone is hurt by this mistake of mine. I hope you will forgive me."

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As part of a probe into potentially corrupt practices and what the PCB describes as "an international syndicate which is believed to be attempting to corrupt the PSL", Irfan was initially charged with two violations of Article 2.4.4 of the organisation's Anti-Corruption Code earlier this month and provisionally suspended from participating in all forms of cricket.

The seven-footer later provided a written statement admitting the charges against him before sitting down for two meetings with the PCB this week.

In a PCB press release detailing Irfan's confirmed suspension, chairman Shaharyar Khan and PSL counterpart Najam Sethi said: "It is important for all players to take note and be reminded of their responsibilities and obligations under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code and that no form of corrupt activity shall ever be tolerated by PCB."

Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzaib Hasan have also been provisionally suspended.

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