Afghanistan's wicketkeeper-batsman Shafiqullah Shafaq has been banned from all cricket-related activities for six years after being found guilty of multiple breaches of the anti-corruption code.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) released a statement detailing the charges against Shafiqullah, relating to his nefarious actions in the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League and the 2019 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League.
"Shafaq has been charged for breaches of the anti-corruption code which relates to fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any agreement," ACB's press release read.
The articles breached by Shafiqullah resulting in his lengthy suspension include:
Breach of Article 2.1.1 – Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any agreement or effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Domestic Match, including (without limitation) by deliberately underperforming therein.”
Breach of Article 2.1.3 – Seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other Reward to (a) fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Domestic Match …”
Breach of Article 2.1.4 – Attempting to solicit, induce, entice, persuade, encourage or intentionally facilitate a Participant to breach Article 2.1.”
Breach of Article 2.4.4 – Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by a Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under ACB Anti-Corruption Code.”
Shafiqullah has also been alleged to commit the grave offence of trying to lure a teammate to match-fixing, though his corrupt attempt ultimately failed.
The 30-year-old made his international debut over a decade ago and was involved in Afghanistan's early progress in the competitive arena. Although his appearances became more infrequent over the years, he was most recently associated with the national set-up during the T20I tri-series in Bangladesh last year.
He has represented Afghanistan in 24 ODIs and 46 T20Is and has plied his trade in different leagues around the globe.
While the heavy sanction imposed on Shafiqullah effectively jeopardises his playing career, the ACB maintained that Shafiqullah's readiness to comply with authorities and remorse for his actions led to the authorities treating him leniently.
ACB's senior anti-corruption manager, Sayed Anwar Shah Quraishi said: "This is a very serious offence where a senior national player is involved in the corruption of a high-profile domestic game. The player had also attempted but failed to get one of his teammates to engage in corruption in another high-profile game during the BPL 2019."
“It is an alert for all those players who think their illegal activities concerning the game of cricket will not be disclosed to the ACB's ACU. Our coverage is vaster than what is perceived.”
“During our educational program, we always instruct players to report each suspicious activity in order to keep the game cricket and their own careers clean of any corrupt practices."