Hong Kong's Ahmed banned for breaching anti-corruption code


Hong Kong all-rounder Irfan Ahmed has been banned for two-and-a-half years after admitting to breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption code.

Ahmed was provisionally suspended by the ICC last November after failing to report an illegal approach or approaches from an individual who was suspected of attempting to engage in corrupt conduct.

The 26-year-old was not charged with a corruption offence, but accepted he should have notified the ICC of approaches or invitations made to him between January 2012 and January 2014.

Ahmed waived his right to appeal and his ban will be backdated from when his provisional suspension was imposed, making him ineligible until May 4, 2018.

Ronnie Flanagan, chairman of the ICC anti-corruption unit said: "This penalty should act as a reminder to all Participants of the need to comply with their obligations under the Code at all times, and in particular the requirement to report corrupt approaches to the ACU without any delay.

"It is pleasing to note that the investigation upon which these charges were founded originated from information that had been disclosed to the ACU.  This is a clear and welcome demonstration that participants now more and more fully realise their own responsibilities in combatting this scourge on the game through prompt and diligent reporting as required by the Code. 

"However, it is also indicative of the worrying trend that those intent on corrupting the game are increasingly focusing their activities on Associate Member cricket and that the sport therefore needs to ensure that it is appropriately resourced and protected in that area.     

"Finally, I would also like to thank the Hong Kong Cricket Association (and all of its officials and players) for the cooperation that has been afforded to the ACU's investigation during this period."