Naveed Arif banned: Former Sussex bowler Arif given lifetime ban after he pleads guilty to six breaches of anti-corruption code

All the charges relate to a Pro40 match between Sussex and Kent in August 2011

Former Sussex bowler Naveed Arif has been handed a life ban from cricket by the England and Wales Cricket Board after pleading guilty to six breaches of its anti-corruption code.

All of the charges related to Sussex's Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Kent in August 2011. Arif is now banned from taking part in any form of cricket sanctioned by the ECB, the International Cricket Council or any other national cricket federation.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: "Today's announcement sends out a very clear message that the ECB has a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in cricket and that it will root out and punish those who pose a threat to the game's integrity."

Reports last month stated Arif was under investigation from the ECB, who are looking to clamp down on spot-fixing.

Arif acknowledged his guilt in taped interviews with the governing body's anti-corruption unit, as well as signed statements, and has accepted his punishment.

Collier added he hopes the ban will serve as a warning to all cricketers.

"We thank the anti-corruption team for their work in bringing this case and trust that it will serve as a stark reminder to all players of the dangers that corrupt activities pose to their careers and livelihoods," he said.

Arif, a left-arm seamer who also represented Pakistan 'A', joined Sussex in time for the 2011 campaign, spending two seasons with the south coast county.

He made 11 appearances for them in the LV= County Championship, 13 in the CB40 and six in the Friends Life t20 before it was announced he would be released in September 2012 after falling down the pecking order at Hove.

Arif expressed his regret and apologised for his actions, admitting he had no excuses

A statement via his solicitors said: "Mr Arif regrets his conduct which has let himself, his team-mates, Sussex County Cricket Club and the cricket fraternity down.

"He is deeply ashamed of his actions and, consequently, bringing the game of cricket into disrepute. These actions were unacceptable and Mr Arif has no excuses.

"Being banned from cricket, the game he loves, is the most severe punishment he could receive. Mr Arif is currently considering his future, having learnt some painful lessons from his past."

PA

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