Kent cricketer cleared of failing to report match-fixing: ICC charging policy must be scrutinised
Darren Stevens, the Kent all-rounder, has been acquitted by a disciplinary panel in Bangladesh of failing to disclose a corrupt approach during the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League, which is a T20 tournament akin to the Indian Premier League (IPL).
For further information about the initial investigation and the disciplinary charges Darren Stevens faced, see my previous blog 'Match fixing in Bangladesh: The ICC's biggest investigation yet'.
This author has criticised the offence of failing to report in both the aforementioned blog and, more recently, when considering the protections for whistleblowers in sport.
Now, with the acquittals of six of the nine individuals charged in the Bangladesh proceedings, serious questions have to be asked about the International Cricket Council's and Bangladesh Cricket Board's charging procedures. Put simply, whilst not everyone should be convicted, a conviction rate in the Bangladesh proceedings of 33% is notably low.
Indeed, even the figure of 33% is charitable. Only one individual, one of the owners of Dhaka Gladiators, Shihab Jishan Chowdury, has been found guilty of an offence by the disciplinary panel after pleading not guilty1. Two other individuals, Mohammad Ashraful and another unnamed person, had already confessed to corrupt behaviour before the proceedings began.
Domestic criminal proceedings
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- Match fixing in Bangladesh: the ICC’s biggest investigation yet
- Transparency International publishes report on cricket corruption: More protection for whistleblowers needed
- A kick in the assets: How UK authorities can recover the profits of match fixing
- Indian sports law update 25 Feb 2014
About the Author
Alex is a barrister at Peters & Peters Solicitors, specialising in business crime, extradition, corruption and sports law. He is part of the P&P Sports Disputes and Investigations team. Prior to joining P&P, Alex was a tenant at the leading criminal set Five Paper Buildings. He has extensive experience of sports law in the context of criminal litigation, having prosecuted cases involving the illicit broadcasting of premier league football for many years.