Irfan Ahmed, the Hong Kong all-rounder, has been suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for two and a half years for breaching the anti-corruption code of conduct, the governing body announced on Thursday (April 20). The 26-year-old will not be allowed to play any form of cricket util May 4, 2018.
Ahmed failed to report suspect approaches made to him between January 2012 and January 2014 to the ICC. During the hearing, he accepted the charges laid against him and decided not to appeal against the decision.
Ronnie Flanagan, the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Unit, said this will give a timely reminder to all involved. "This penalty should act as a reminder to all Participants of the need to comply with their obligations under the Code at all times, and in particular the requirement to report corrupt approaches to the ACU without any delay," he said. "It is pleasing to note that the investigation upon which these charges were founded originated from information that had been disclosed to the ACU.
"This is a clear and welcome demonstration that participants now more and more fully realise their own responsibilities in combating this scourge on the game through prompt and diligent reporting as required by the Code.
"However, it is also indicative of the worrying trend that those intent on corrupting the game are increasingly focusing their activities on Associate Member cricket and that the sport therefore needs to ensure that it is appropriately resourced and protected in that area.
"Finally, I would also like to thank the Hong Kong Cricket Association (and all of its officials and players) for the cooperation that has been afforded to the ACU's investigation during this period."
He has played six One-Day Internationals and eight Twenty20 Internationals since his debut for Hong Kong in 2008.