Bangladesh fast bowler Shahadat Hossain has been charged with physically torturing a minor girl who worked as his domestic help, in a case that shocked cricket fans around the world.
Hossain, 29, who was the spearhead of the Bangladesh bowling attack, faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted. The cricketer has been suspended from all forms of cricket until further notice by his country’s cricket board.
The 11-year-old girl , Mahfuza Akhter, found in September in a street in Dhaka with multiple injuries including a broken leg, told investigators that she had been working for Hossain and his wife for a year.
“They used to beat me with sticks and kitchen utensils, punch me and scratch me. I would be slapped a lot,” Akhter was quoted as saying by CNN, which carried pictures of her swollen and bruised face on the day she was found.
Police submitted charges against Hossain and his wife, Nritto Shahadat, to the Dhaka metropolitan magistrate’s court on Tuesday, under legislation designed to protect women and children from domestic abuse.
The fast bowler surrendered to police on October 5, after four weeks on the run, a day after his wife was arrested at her parents’ house in Dhaka. Both were released on bail after spending a month in jail.
Hossain and his wife will now have to appear in court on January 12, where they will face charges under Bangladesh’s Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, which stipulates prison terms of between seven and 14 years for anyone who causes damage or disfigurement to a woman or child.