Darren Stevens is charged in corruption inquiry


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The Independent Online

The Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens could face a five-year ban after being charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with failing to report a corrupt approach while playing in this year's Bangladesh Premier League (BPL2).

Stevens is one of nine individuals charged after an investigation by the ICC'S Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) following the second season of the six-team t20 tournament which was contested over three weeks in February. The 37-year-old helped Dhaka Gladiators, who featured Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chris Gayle of West Indies to win the title.

However, in a statement issued on his behalf by the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, Stevens denied any involvement in corrupt activities. "I confirm that I have been charged by the ICC with a failure to report a corrupt approach made to me during BPL2 in February this year," he said.

"I have not been involved in any corrupt activity and have not been charged with any and I am co-operating with the ICC and ACSU in their investigation and prosecution of the corruption charges in matters relating to the BPL."

Stevens, who was bought by the Gladiators for $30,000 (£19,000) in the pre-tournament auction, is free to continue to represent Kent while the investigation continues and has been given 14 days to enter his plea. Ten English players, including England regulars Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara, and Essex batsman Owais Shah took part in the BPL despite warnings from the Professional Cricketers' Association in December that they remained "nervous" about the competition.

The first edition saw some payments to players delayed, and there were also concerns over the potential for match-fixing. The latest charges relate to "an alleged conspiracy within the Dhaka Gladiators franchise to engage in match-fixing and spot-fixing during the tournament".

Meanwhile, the disgraced Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif has finally said sorry and admitted he was guilty of spot-fixing during Pakistan's ill-fated tour to England in 2010.