Afghanistan’s Shafiqullah Shafiq handed six-year ban

Shafiq last donned the national colours during the tri-series in Bangladesh back in September 2019.

Shafiqullah Shafaq
Afghanistan’s Shafiqullah Shafiq. (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

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Shafiqullah Shafiq, the Afghanistan wicket-keeper, has been slapped with a six-year ban for serious breaches of the anti-corruption code. The charges against the 30-year-old pertains to indifferent activities during the inaugural edition of the Afghanistan Premier League in 2018. He was also alleged to have made attempts to lure a teammate in the last edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

In the BPL, Shafiq only played three games for the Sylhet Thunder and scored 18 runs. The Nangarhar-born has admitted to all the four charges against him. The Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) sanctions relating to Shafiqullah’s charges are as follows:

  • Article 2.1.1 – Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any agreement or effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Domestic Match, including (without limitation) by deliberately under-performing therein.”

  • Article 2.1.3 – Seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other Reward to (a) fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Domestic Match”

  • Article 2.1.4 – Attempting to solicit, induce, entice, persuade, encourage or intentionally facilitate a Participant to breach Article 2.1.”

  • Article 2.4.4 – Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by a Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under ACB Anti-Corruption Code.”

“It is an alert for all those players who think their illegal activities concerning the game of cricket will not be disclosed to the ACB’s ACU. Our coverage is vaster than what is perceived,” Sayed Anwar Shah Quraishi, ACB’s Senior Anti-Corruption manager, was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

“During our educational program, we always instruct players to report each suspicious activity in order to keep the game cricket and their own careers clean of any corrupt practices,” he added.

It’s been learned that Shafiq showed remorse during the investigation. After the sanctions, Shafiq is now ready to contribute to the ACB’s Anti-Corruption Unit’s education programmes in order to make the youngsters aware about not involving in corrupt practices.

The end of the road for Shafiqullah Shafiq?

Shafiqullah made his debut for the Afghans as a teenager way back in 2009 against Netherlands in Amstelveen. Though Mohammad Shahzad was the preferred choice as the keeper, Shafiq didn’t go out of the selector’s radar. He has played 24 ODIs and 46 T20Is for the national team, scoring 430 and 46 runs respectively with the help of three half-centuries.

He also has a double century in first-class cricket. As per the punishment, he will be nearly 37 when the ban gets lifted. With youngsters like Afsar Zazai and Ikram Ali Khil doing the rounds in Afghan cricket, the curtains might already have come down on Shafiq’s career.