It’s Just Not Cricket as UAE Player Receives 14-Year Ban for Match Fixing

The International Cricket Council (ICC) have given Mehar Chhayakar a 14-year ban for breaking the rules and regulations concerning match-fixing.

Chhayakar was born in India but has spent most of his playing career in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He won’t be playing again for a long time though after being found guilty by an ICC Anti-Corruption tribunal of charges relating to matches he played in for UAE against Zimbabwe and in the GT20 event held in Canada three years ago.

The tribunal found that he twice breached Article 2.1.1 that forbids players from attempting to influence the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of an international fixture. Chhayakar was also found guilty of twice attempting to induce others to attempt to influence the result of a match.

The UAE player was also found to have breached the rules regarding not cooperating and obstructing investigations into possible corrupt behaviour.

His offences have been linked to the cases of fellow UAE players, Gulam Shabbir and Qadeer Khan. They have both already accepted sanctions after admitting breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. This was over approaches that had been made to them by Chhayakar.

ICC General Manager Alex Marshal said that they’d first had reason to be concerned about Chhayakar four years ago. He’d been involved in the organisation of a corrupt tournament held in Ajman. The 14-year ban imposed is another example, he said, of his “continuing efforts to corrupt and damage our sport.”

This week has seen the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reveal that in Q3 of this year, there were 76 matches that were flagged for suspicious betting patterns.

It was tennis rather than cricket that saw the most incidents of suspicious betting accounting for 33 cases. Next highest was esports with 16 followed by football with 13 and table-tennis, 10. However, the 76 matches is 12 less than the number reported in Q2.

There has been a 60% quarter-on-quarter drop for football which had seen the most cases in Q2. It’s not such good news for esports which has seen a fourfold rise, with tennis up 20% compared to the previous quarter.

The IBIA CEO is Khalid Ali and he gave possible reasons why there had been so many alerts. One is the growth in IBIA membership this year. He added that this had increased global market coverage. “The alerts identified and reported, underlining the beneficial impact of a global multi-operator betting integrity network.”

49% of the alerts took place in Europe. The next highest is Asia who account for 11% of cases with 9% happening in Africa. A total of 29 countries saw alerts reported, that’s down seven from Q2.