Match-fixing case set to go to appeal court

Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens among six individuals involved

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has confirmed that a case is in progress between the International Cricket Council and six individuals involved in the Bangladesh Twenty20 Premier League, including Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens. The CAS, which is based in Switzerland, is expected to hear the appeal later this year.

The ICC, their Anti-Corruption and Security Unit and the Bangladesh Cricket Board have appealed against the decision of the Bangladesh Premier League’s anti-corruption tribunal, which acquitted the six last February.

In 2013, nine people were charged by the ACSU of either being involved in match-fixing, spot-fixing or failing to report corrupt approaches.

Shihab Chowdhury, the co-owner of the Dhaka Gladiators, was found guilty of attempting to fix a match in February 2013. Mohammad Ashraful, the former Bangladesh captain, pleaded guilty and was banned for eight years – subsequently reduced to five years. Sri Lankan leg-spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi confessed to failing to report an approach made to him. And Lou Vincent, the former New Zealand batsman, also pleaded guilty to not reporting an illegal approach.

However, Stevens and four others were found not guilty and cleared of all charges by the tribunal. The ICC  said they was “extremely surprised and obviously disappointed with the outcome” and would appeal.

Stevens, 38, played for the Dhaka Gladiators, the franchise at the heart of the match-fixing scandal. There is no suggestion that he was involved in fixing any matches. He was accused of two instances of failing to report a corrupt approach and has consistently denied any wrong-doing.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association expressed concerns about the Bangladesh Premier League and warned English players in 2012 about the high chance that it was open to corruption. 

“We had concerns about the competition from the outset,” Angus Porter,  the PCA’s chief executive, said at the time. “We’re not comfortable with what has happened, although we had done as good a job as we could to ensure our players, and others, were aware of lines of communication if they had anything to report.”