DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned Omani player Yousuf Abdulrahim Al Balushi from all cricket for seven years after he accepted four charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
The charges related to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers 2019 held in the United Arab Emirates. Al Balushi chose to admit the charges and agreed the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. Balushi was suspended last month and has now been formally slapped with the sanction.
ICC General Manager, Integrity, Alex Marshall said: “This is a very serious offence where a player attempted but failed to get a teammate to engage in corrupt activity in high profile games and this is reflected in the severity of the sentence.
“Without Mr Balushi’s admission of guilt and full cooperation throughout our investigation, the ban could have been significantly longer. The player has also indicated that he is willing to contribute to future integrity education programmes on our behalf to help younger players learn from his mistakes.”
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The ACU had charged Al Balushi for breaching its code on the following four counts:
Article 2.1.1: Being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive in any way the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of matches in the ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019.
Article 2.1.4: Attempting to solicit, induce, entice, persuade, encourage or intentionally facilitate a Participant to breach Article 2.1.
Article 2.4.4: Failing to report the approaches or invitations that you received from three different individuals to be a party to an agreement or effort to fix matches in the ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019.
Article 2.4.7: Obstructing or delaying an investigation carried out by the ACU in relation to possible Corrupt Conduct under the Code, including by concealing or tampering with information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence of or lead to the discovery of evidence of Corrupt Conduct under the Code.
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The ICC’s investigation found that Balushi had been approached in August 2019 by someone he knew from playing in an unsanctioned Arabian Carnival League match in Bahrain.
The person asked for Balushi’s help to fix matches in the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifiers. The fix would involve this player getting out for less than a pre-agreed amount of runs. Balushi did not report the approaches made to him and had deleted incriminating messages on his phone which led to the punishment.