ICC bans cricket coach for breaching anti-corruption code

Irfan Ansari, a domestic cricket coach based out of UAE, has been banned from all cricket for 10 years for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

Sarfraz Ahmed (in picture) had been made a corruption approach by Irfan Ansari during Sri Lanka’s tour of UAE in 2017.   -  AFP

Irfan Ansari, a domestic cricket coach based out of UAE, has been banned from all cricket for 10 years for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, the International Cricket Council announced on Wednesday.

This was after Ansari was deemed guilty of breaching three offences under the code by the ICC Anti-Corruption tribunal. It related to his corrupt ‘approach’ to Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain of the Pakistan national team, during Sri Lanka’s tour of the UAE in October, 2017 to play international matches across formats against Pakistan.

Ahmed had apparently been asked to provide information in order to help Ansari make money. According to the full ICC verdict, the name of Sharjeel Khan, the cricketer punished by the ICC for corruption, was also taken in the conversation between Ahmed and Ansari. This conversation was reported by Ahmed to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU).

Ansari was familiar to the Pakistan team as he, according to the ICC, “assisted [the side] by organising and managing the provision of net bowlers to that team for its practice sessions [in the UAE].”

‘True leadership and professionalism’

Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager, ACU, said: “I’d like to place on record my thanks to Sarfaraz Ahmed (sic) who showed true leadership and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach. He recognised it for what it was, rejected it and reported it. He then supported our investigation and subsequent tribunal.

“This is the first time we have prosecuted for failure to cooperate with an investigation since the new rules enabling us to demand the participants hand over their phone for examination and the sanction reflects the seriousness of the offence. It is an important tool to aid our investigations and continue in our efforts to rid the sport of these corrupters.”

Ansari was found guilty of the following three offences under the Code:

Article 2.3.3 - directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a participant to breach the Code Article 2.3.2 by disclosing inside information.

Article 2.4.6 - failure or refusal to cooperate with the ACU’s investigation by failing to provide accurately and completely the information and / or documentation requested by the ACU in October, 2017. This included a request by the ICC ACU to take possession of and/or copy or download information from his mobile devices.

Article 2.4.6 - failure or refusal to cooperate with the ACU’s investigation by failing to provide accurately and completely the information and / or documentation requested by the ACU in February, 2018. Again this included a request by the ICC ACU to take possession of and/or copy or download information from his mobile devices.