In a press conference arranged by the ICC and BCB, the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit's (ACSU) report was unleashed. Nine individuals have been charged by the ACSU for breaching the BCB's code of conduct during the Bangladesh Premier League earlier this year. Even though it was said that the identities of the nine individuals will not be disclosed until the conclusion of the proceedings, through various local news channels we could come to know about the alleged individuals.
According to reports in the Bangladesh media, they include four local cricketers - Mohammad Ashraful, former Test bowler Mohammad Rafique, pacer Mahbubul Alam and left-arm spinner Mosharrof Hossain; the owners of Dhaka Gladiators - Selim Chowdhury and Shihab Chowdhury; the CEO of Dhaka Gladiators - Gourav Rawat; and two foreign players, Darren Stevens and Kaushal Lokuarachchi.
Ashraful's involvement and later on his verdict in front of the media regarding the matter shocked us all and now the involvement of one of Bangladesh's prominent cricketers, Rafique, has left ardent fans and followers speechless. Many Bangladeshi fans were proud of their cricketers' honesty even if as a team Bangladesh are not the heavyweights in world cricket. But after this heart-breaking event, pride has been dented severely.
Many emotional followers are demanding less punishment of the involved cricketers, especially fans of Ashraful whose world seems to have turned upside down. But one thing they fail to realise is that a crime is always a crime. Ashraful himself has admitted to his involvement in spot-fixing, for which he doesn't deserve any mercy. Not only Ashraful, but the cricketers whose names have been mentioned should also receive punishment for disgracing Bangladesh if they are proved guilty.
Bangladesh cricket has been jolted, but it must proceed forward with enough vim and appropriate plans. Bangladesh must move on but not by sweeping all the problems under the carpet like our comically corrupted politicians do without fail.
It is now a well established fact that corruption in Bangladesh cricket has not cropped up suddenly. It has existed for a long time. The reason for its dissemination like a malignant cell has been due to lack of proper attention bt the BCB. To weed out corruption is never an easy task but its spread can be limited and it is high time that the BCB takes stern steps in eradicating corruption from its cricket.
Other than educating players and establishing strict monitoring systems during the domestic cricket seasons or any other age-group cricket matches, the BCB must realise that many of our cricketers' families depend on the money earned from playing domestic cricket. Whatever they earn from playing cricket, more often, fails to meet the demand at home for which frustration creeps in and players choose the wrong path. These cricketers' futures are not secure enough.
What the BCB can do is to ensure respectable jobs for these poverty-stricken cricketers either in the BCB or BKSP or any of the board's high-profile programs or ensure their allotments in various developmental programs of the ICC and ACC. If these cricketers get the surety of a secured future then to a great extent their minds will not divert towards the wrong path.
Cricketers who earn lesser than the national team's players are susceptible and need to be handled by the BCB like a caring father would, and not a boss. Moreover, the BCB must ensure the regularity of domestic cricket so that these cricketers don't get devoured by depression and hence hug the devil.
So, rather than thinking and shouting about whether the suspected players should be punished or not or whether any foreign conspiracy is involved in this matter, we should think about bouncing back from this rut.
First Published: August 16, 2013, 12:03 PM IST