LONDON: Cricket coach Irfan Ansari has been banned for 10 years from the sport for making an illicit approach to Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday.
The ICC praised Sarfraz for his “true leadership” in reporting the approach by his compatriot, the United Arab Emirates-based Ansari, during the Pakistan v Sri Lanka one-day series in 2017.
The ICC also hailed what they said is the first time someone has been prosecuted for non cooperation with an enquiry — Ansari refused on two occasions to testify to the ICC’s anti-corruption body.
Ansari, who coached Sharjah, contacted Ahmed wishing to induce him into corrupt conduct by extracting information from him on the series which was being played in the UAE where Pakistan are compelled to play when they are the home team after international cricket was suspended after attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.
Ahmed, though, reported Ansari immediately.
Ansari is bound by the ICC anti-corruption code as a result of both his affiliation to the Pakistan cricket team and being a coach to two teams that participate in domestic matches in the UAE.
He was found guilty of the three offences under the code.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to Sarfraz Ahmed who showed true leadership and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach,” said ICC general manager Alex Marshall.
“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,” he added.
Spot-fixing involves determining the outcome of a specific part of a match rather than the overall result and is, therefore, harder to detect than match-fixing.