Mumbai’s left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah was approached by an unknown man who offered him money for team information during IPL season 8. The incident took place in the first week of April and Abdullah, part of Royal Challengers Bangalore, had reported it to the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the Indian cricket board.
Abdullah received calls frequently from an unknown number and when he didn’t respond, the person sent a text message calling himself a ‘big fan’ and said he was at the hotel lobby and all he wanted was a photograph. Abdullah relented, posed for snaps, and was then given the ‘offer’ for some information on the team. The 25-year old spinner soon informed the episode to the ACSU officer associated with the team.
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Abdullah, who is currently playing for his club DY Patil in the KSCA shield in Bengaluru, didn’t wish to comment on the issue now and he neither denied nor confirmed the approach. The BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur too was unavailable for comments.
This was the second incident of this kind where a player has reported an approach during the last IPL. Another Mumbai spinner Pravin Tambe had earlier reported an approach by a fellow cricketer to the ACSU. The BCCI suspended Mumbai batsman Hiken Shah after three months of investigation for breaching the Anti Corruption Code for participants.
Shah’s involvement in any form of cricket affiliated with the BCCI stands suspended until the disciplinary committee passes appropriate orders. “Shah made a corrupt approach to one of his colleagues from first-class cricket, who is also a member of one of the IPL teams,” the BCCI press release had stated.
Every year the ACSU team organises education programmes for cricketers before ever big tournament. A session has been devoted to every IPL team just before the start of the tournament and players are regularly educated on fixing and other illegal activities.