Till yesterday,Shariful Plabon Haque’s only claim to fame was having played a single ODI for Bangladesh back in 1998 at Dhaka and smashing Robin Singh for a massive six over long-on. On Tuesday,the former off-spinner became the first Bangladeshi cricketer to be banned for spot-fixing.
At 36,Haque had been leading a rather sedate life,retired from first-class cricket and working with Biman Bangladesh Airlines,occasionally turning up for their team in the Dhaka Premier League.
Then he approached Mashrafe Mortaza,former Bangladesh skipper and his Biman colleague,offering him a price to reveal information about his appearances in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and other periphery matters even whether he would be wearing his sunglasses or cap.
Mortaza reported the spot-fixing approach to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB),and even went to the press with it.
Six months later,Haque has been found guilty,and now is expelled from all cricket activities following an emergency meeting at the BCB headquarters.
He (Shariful) will not be allowed to take part in any cricketing activities in the country in any capacity, AHM Mustafa Kamal,the board chief,said.
The sub-committee investigated allegations about the cricketer who tried to influence the BPL. The indefinite ban will be applicable from today. This message will go to everybody. We will inform the ICC as well. We took the decision based on whatever we could substantiate on, he added.
Though he failed to make a major impact on the big stage,Haque remained a club cricket regular in Dhaka,using his affable ways to building up influential contacts in cricketing circles.
Plabon,as he is affectionately called,had also made a name for himself managing a few teams. Those in the know,claim that Haque had a few post-cricket choices up his sleeve.
The recommendation for Shariful’s banning was made by a committee formed immediately after Mortaza’s claims that he had been approached a day before the BPL kicked off. The committee,headed by BCB’s senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam,interviewed several individuals including Haque and Mortaza before finding him guilty. I will definitely appeal against this ban,one hundred percent, Haque was reported as saying by ESPNcricinfo.