LAHORE: Five Pakistan players have been fined Rs.500,000 each for appearing in ‘Disapproved Cricket’ in the United States of America alongside banned spinner Danish Kaneria. The PCB investigated the matter and interviewed the players last month, when a three-member committee recommended the fines. A spokesman for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Friday the five players were Fawad Alam, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq, Nasir Jamshed and Shazaib Hasan. The five players played, alongside banned Kaneria, in exhibition Twenty20 matches that were not organised by the USA Cricket Association and they did not have No Objection Certificates from the PCB. Alam, Jamshed and Riaz are currently a part of the month-long summer camp in Lahore organised for 40 probables.
The PCB also officially reprimanded its director of marketing Badar Refaie who was seen being photographed with Kaneria during the games. “After thorough investigations and after players admitting that they had participated in an event that under the International Cricket Council (ICC) Regulations is considered Disapproved Cricket, their contention of not being aware of the NOC requirement was not accepted by the PCB committee, which recommended that each of them should be fined Rs.500,000,” the PCB spokesman added. Badar, a former USACA executive secretary, was originally hired for the Pakistan Super League during Zaka Ashraf's regime.
Kaneria was banned for life in 2012 for spot-fixing in a county game in England, which under ICC rules effectively bars him from playing anywhere in the world. Kaneria played for Houston Eagles while the Pakistan players were playing for rival team Boom Boom Blasters. “As for the director marketing, the committee concluded that he was neither involved in the organisation nor inviting players for the event. He just briefly attended one match only on invitation of the organisers and while his subsequent photograph with Kaneria was a case of poor judgement, there was nothing to suggest that he conducted himself in any inappropriate manner. However, in the committee’s opinion, he should have shown better judgement and avoided being photographed with a banned player. Hence, an official reprimand is recommended,” said the PCB official.
Alam appeared for Pakistan in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in February-March while Razzaq, Jamshed and Riaz lost their places last year. Hasan played for Pakistan in the 2009 World Twenty20 which they won in England. The PCB committee was comprised of domestic cricket director Intikhab Alam, security manager Azam Khan and international cricket manager Usman Wahla.
The PCB also sought a reply from Kaneria. The committee said Kaneria did not appear before it. “Kaneria is serving a life ban and did not appear at the hearing nor did he respond to notice in writing. The committee referred his case to the PCB integrity committee for further suitable action against him.” Kaneria earlier this month lost his appeal against the life ban in a London high court, but has since vowed to fight on in higher courts. Three other Pakistan players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer – are serving five years bans over a separate 2010 spot-fixing case. While the ban prevents Kaneria from playing matches under the ECB's jurisdiction, he has been participating in exhibition T20 games in the United States, such as the 2014 Friendship matches in Texas and T20s in Florida in December last year. The USACA has issued a memo warning its players to not participate in unsanctioned tournaments like the Friendship Cup that may include players who have bans imposed by other national boards.
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