Cricket, which is called the gentleman’s game, has never been untouched with corruption news. Although International Cricket Council (ICC) and cricket boards have introduced strict laws against it, cricketers get involved in such controversies which eventually broke the trust of fans.
Subsequently, the players involved in this heinous act had to face severe punishments. They are either banned for life or for some period which surely affects their career and image. We’ve already seen how Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif had faced the heat following the spot-fixing saga back in 2010.
Here, we have mentioned five cricketers who have been banned for corruption:
The Kerela player Sreesanth cemented his place with early success after making a debut in 2005. He was the key member in India’s World Cup 2011 and T20 World Cup 2007 triumphs. But all his notable contribution got erased from everyone’s memory when his name was involved in the match-fixing in Indian Premier League in 2013.
The 37-year old cricketer was, initially, banned for life but then in August 2019, the ban was reduced to seven years. His ban would end in September this year but Sreesanth’s age might create hurdles for his comeback.
Shakib Al Hasan:
The former captain Shakib Al Hasan was like a heroic figure for Bangladesh people so when his name got linked to such shameful crime, fans were in a state of shock. He was banned for two years, with one year suspended, for failing to report multiple approaches made to him by bookies.
He admitted to all the charges under the ICC Provisions. He also accepted the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. The no 1 all-rounder will be free to resume cricket from October 29, 2020.
In 2010, Pakistan’s cricketer Mohammad Amir was arrested for spot-fixing and was given a five-year ban for allegedly bowling two deliberate no-balls. He pleaded guilty on the verdict handed out by his prosecutor the ICC and publicly asked for forgiveness.
In November 2011, Amir was convicted, along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, of conspiracy charges relating to spot-fixing. However, his ban was reduced and he made the comeback in the international cricket in 2015.
The pacer went on to play a crucial role in Pakistan’s victory in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 where he picked three crucial wickets in the grand-finale against India. Currently, he features in white-ball cricket while he has announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2019.
Danish Kaneria, who was recently involved in controversy over discrimination in the Pakistan team, was banned by England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) after he encouraged former Essex team-mate, Mervyn Westfield, for spot-fixing in 2009. The ECB found the charges proved and imposed a lifetime ban on him in 2012 while Westfield was given a five-year ban from professional cricket.
Kaneria appealed against ECB’s decision in High Court but it was dismissed. The ban affected his career and he last played for Pakistan in 2010. He took 261 Test wickets between 2000 and 2010 to become the most successful Pakistan spinner in history.
After six years of his denial, he admitted his involvement in corrupt practice in 2019, citing the reason that he was under financial crises because his father was ill around the spot-fixing episode.
Pakistan’s batsman Umar Akmal is recent on to join the list. He has been handed three-year ban, which will run concurrently because he failed to report a corrupt approach by bookies ahead of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) disciplinary panel had observed in their report that Umar was not guilty of his crime and didn’t seek an apology.
Akmal was found guilty of two charges under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code, rendering him ineligible for cricket activities till February 19, 2023. As of now, he has appealed against PCB’s decision.