Former Sussex cricketer banned for life over match-fixing at Hove

Posted On 18 Jun 2014 at 2:17 pm

Former Sussex cricketer Naveed Arif Gondal has been banned from the game for life after he admitted match-fixing charges.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said that the 32-year-old former Pakistan A bowler had pleaded guilty to six breaches of the ECB’s Anti-Corruption Code.

All of the breaches related to corrupt activity in connection with the Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture between Sussex and Kent at Hove in August 2011.

Naveed Arif’s admissions were made in tape-recorded interviews with the ECB’s anti-corruption unit and in signed statements.

In accordance with the code, Arif has accepted an agreed sanction of a life ban from all forms of cricket.

The ban prevents him from playing, coaching or participating in any form of cricket that is recognised or sanctioned by the ECB, ICC (International Cricket Council) or any other national cricket federation.

Naveed Arif

Naveed Arif

ECB chief executive David Collier said: “Today’s announcement sends out a very clear message that the ECB has a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in cricket and that it will root out and punish those who pose a threat to the game’s integrity.

“We thank the anti-corruption team for their work in bringing this case and trust that it will serve as a stark reminder to all players of the dangers that corrupt activities pose to their careers and livelihoods.”

Arif, who played for Sussex in 2011 and 2012, was suspended in April this year and charged in May.

He apologised in a statement released by his lawyers. The statement said: “He is deeply ashamed of his actions and, consequently, bringing the game of cricket into disrepute. These actions were unacceptable and Mr Arif has no excuses.”

One of his former Sussex team-mates, Lou Vincent, was also charged with 14 offences under the Anti-Corruption Code last month.

The charges against 35-year-old Vincent relate to the same CB40 game against Kent and a Twenty20 match against Lancashire in the same month.

The former New Zealand test batsman was said to have given the ICC evidence about match-fixing involving 12 matches from 2008 to 2012. He was also said to be co-operating with investigators.

When Arif was charged, Sussex chairman Jim May wrote an open letter to supporters.

He said: “Sussex has worked very closely and co-operated with both the ICC and ECB anti-corruption units to help establish the facts of what occurred in the two limited overs matches during 2011.

“We are totally supportive of any action taken by the ECB and other authorities to tackle corruption.

“We are all conscious of the constant need to be vigilant and of the processes in place to report any suspicions.

“I want our supporters to know that our playing and coaching staff are extremely shocked and angry about the allegations that any former colleagues may have acted in a corrupt way while wearing the Sussex shirt.

“They see it as an insult to them and the game. Our players take a great personal pride in performing to the highest level when they play for Sussex.

“Indeed our unprecedented success in the last decade, despite having a mid-table playing budget, is testimony to the way the Sussex team continues to punch above its weight.”

Yesterday (Tuesday 17 June) the former Whitehawk footballer Michael Boateng was found guilty along with two Singaporean men of trying to fix matches. They will be sentenced on Friday (20 June).

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