The BCCI has handed Mohammed Shami a Grade B central contract after receiving clearance from the cricket board’s Anti-corruption Unit (ACU), which also paved the way for him to play for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. The fast bowler’s contract had been held back pending investigation into the possibility that he had received money from a man through a woman based in Pakistan.
While the Kolkata Police is probing the criminal charges against Shami, including Section 307 (attempt to murder), based on a complaint filed by his wife Hasin Jahan, the BCCI restricted its inquiry solely to breaching the anti-corruption code for the players.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) had asked the ACU chief Neeraj Kumar to look into whether Shami had taken any money from a certain England-based Mohammed bhai, sent to him through a Pakistani woman, Alishba, in Dubai.
On Thursday, the BCCI release said: “The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India appointed Committee of Administrators had requested Mr Neeraj Kumar, former Police Commissioner of Delhi and Head of BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit, to investigate the allegations against Mohd. Shami insofar as they pertain to the provisions of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code.
“Mr Neeraj Kumar has submitted his confidential report to the CoA. Based on the conclusions in the said report, the CoA is of the view that no further actions/proceedings under the BCCI anti-corruption code are warranted in the matter.
“For this reason, the BCCI shall proceed with offering a Grade ‘B’ annual retainership contract to Mohd. Shami.”
The speedster now joins KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma and Dinesh Karthik in Grade B on Rs 3 crore per annum. And the BCCI clean chit also clears the decks for him to resume his association with his IPL franchise, Delhi Daredevils. The franchise had been waiting for the cricket board directive in this regard.
After the BCCI verdict, Shami re-tweeted a DD post that said: “We’re glad to hear the verdict! @MdShami11 has been cleared to play by the @BCCI.” Talking to The Indian Express, Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua, too, welcomed the decision. “We are excited. You know it’s for the (game of) cricket, not just for DD but more for cricket. He is a great bowler and he gets to go. We never had any doubts about that (on Shami). He is welcomed to join the DD camp, from March 27-28 (at Feroz Shah Kotla), when we start. We are very happy for him,” Dua told this paper.
The Daredevils exercised the Right-to-Match card option at the IPL 2018 auction to retain Shami for Rs 3 crore.
Last week the Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai had told The Indian Express: “As per the recorded phone conversation, he (Shami) talks about taking money from some extraneous sources, from one Mohammed bhai. Now, the handbook for players specifically says that if they receive money from some extraneous sources, they are required to inform the BCCI. So we are asking him, what’s the money for? The ACU will look into this. Rest we will follow the police inquiry.”
Off the field, however, a legal battle awaits the cricketer, as the Kolkata Police has booked Shami and his family members under non-bailable sections of the Indian Penal Code. Shami’s mother Anjuman-Ara-Begum, brother Hasib Ahmed, Hasib’s wife Shama and Shabina Ahjum, Shami’s sister are among those who have been named in the FIR. The FIR has been lodged under section 498 A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 307 (attempt to murder), 376(rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.
Hasin, meanwhile, reportedly has sought an audience with the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as she said she wanted to have the chief minister’s support in her “fight” against Shami. She has also recorded a confidential statement before a judicial magistrate.