The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended Mumbai cricketer Hiken Shah with immediate effect on Monday after finding him guilty of breaching its Anti-Corruption Code.
The BCCI said Shah made a “corrupt” approach to one of his colleagues from first class cricket, who plays in one of the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams.
Shah is a left-hand batsman and leg-break bowler who made his debut for Mumbai in domestic cricket in 2006 but has since struggled to be a regular member of the team.
He has played 37 first class matches, scoring 2160 runs at an average of 42.35 with six centuries.
“His involvement in any form of cricket, affiliated with the BCCI stands suspended till the time the disciplinary committee of the BCCI passes appropriate orders,” the BCCI said in a statement on Monday.
Shah is the second Mumbai player to have been suspended by the BCCI over corruption.
All-rounder Ankeet Chavan was suspended for life for his involvement in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal. Chavan played for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) joint secretary P.V. Shetty termed Shah’s suspension as “shocking and disappointing”.
“It is a real shock for us. It is very disappointing to have another Mumbai player involved and found guilty. We never thought that another Mumbai player would get involved and be proven guilty. It is really shocking,” Shetty told media persons on Monday.
The cricketer informed about the approach to his franchise team which reacted by informing the BCCI’s Anti Corruption Unit (ACU). The ACU conducted an immediate inquiry into the matter and found Shah guilty.
“After a detailed inquiry into the reported incident, the inquiry commissioner found Hiken Shah guilty of committing breach of Articles 2.1.1; 2.1.2; and 2.1.4 of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code for participants and recommended their provisions to the BCCI president,” the statement added.
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said BCCI is committed to uphold its stance of “zero tolerance” for fixing and reacted swiftly by ordering a probe.
“BCCI has zero tolerance for corruption in the game of cricket. We have and we will take swift action against such incidents to set a precedent and control the menace of corruption in the game. While placing the player under suspension, I have referred the matter to the disciplinary committee of the BCCI to take further action against the player involved,” Dalmiya said in the release.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said the governing body’s education policy on match fixing was beginning to show results and the incident proves that they are on the right track.
“This particular incident demonstrates that BCCI’s education policy against corruption is showing results, as the player approached was vigilant enough to report the matter to the ACU of the BCCI.
Having said that, the fight against corruption is an ongoing battle and we will not leave any stone unturned. BCCI is committed to keep cricket corruption-free,” he said.
The Shah incident is the latest in a series of fixing incidents in the IPL. In 2013, Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan Royals cricketers — S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — on charges of spot fixing.
BCCI banned Sreesanth and Chavan for life following investigations while Chandila’s case is still pending in the courts.
Later in a separate case, the Mumbai police arrested former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team official Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of the then BCCI president N. Srinivasan, for betting.
Meiyappan and Royals co-owner Raj Kundra were later found guilty of betting by the Supreme Court, the quantum of punishment for which is to be announced on Tuesday.