Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful was on Wednesday slapped with an eight-year ban, more than a year after he confessed to have fixed matches during the country's domestic Twenty20 event — the Bangladesh Premier League.
The punishment handed out today completes a dramatic fall from grace for the batsman, who became the country's youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17. He later captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009.
The 29-year-old had been under suspension from all forms of cricket since June last year after he admitted to the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit that he had indulged in fixing BPL matches.
"He was found guilty of all four charges and is banned from cricket for eight years (three years suspended)," Khademul Islam Chowdhury, who headed the disciplinary panel set up by the Bangladesh Cricket Board to investigate the BPL fixing controversy, said.
"In addition to the eight-year ban, Ashraful has also been ordered to pay a fine of one million taka (USD 12,280)," he added.
Besides this, the owner of the franchise, which Ashraful represented — Dhaka Gladiators — has been handed a 10-year ban (three years suspended) for the same offence.
The duo was penalised for indulging in corruption during the league's second edition last year. The offence relates to a match between Dhaka Gladiators and the Chittagong Kings.
Ashraful was allegedly paid about one million taka (USD 12,800) to lose the match on February 2, but the cheque he was given had bounced.
The batsman was also involved in fixing another match 10 days later, against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, it was reported in the media here.
Meanwhile, the BCB's disciplinary tribunal also banned New Zealand player Lou Vincent and Sri Lankan Kaushal Lokuarachchi for three years and 18 months respectively for failing to report approaches made to them by bookies.
While Lokuarachchi had admitted his offence as soon as he was charged, Vincent conceded his involvement during the course of the investigation.
"The convicts are entitled to appeal with the chairman of the disciplinary panel formed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)," Islam said.
"They can also go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, an international quasi-judicial body established to settle disputes related to sport," he added.