Arif ban is 'clear message' - ECB

Blackpool Citizen: Naveed Arif has been handed a life ban from all forms of cricket by the ECB Naveed Arif has been handed a life ban from all forms of cricket by the ECB

The England and Wales Cricket Board's decision to ban former Sussex bowler Naveed Arif from all forms of cricket for life is a "very clear message" towards anyone looking to threaten the game's integrity, according to chief executive David Collier.

Arif was on Wednesday banned from either playing or coaching in any form of cricket sanctioned by the ECB, the International Cricket Council or any other national cricket federation for the rest of his life.

The sanction was handed down after Arif pleaded guilty to six breaches of the ECB's anti-corruption code, with all charges relating to Sussex's Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Kent in August 2011.

In that encounter, Arif conceded 41 runs from his six overs and contributed a laboured 11 from 29 balls with the bat as Sussex squandered the chance to reach the semi-finals of the 40-over competition after a 14-run defeat at Hove.

It was reported last month that Arif was one of the players under investigation from the ECB and the 32-year-old acknowledged his guilt in taped interviews with the governing body's anti-corruption unit, as well as signed statements.

Collier hopes the punishment, which has been accepted by Arif, will serve as a warning to others.

"Today's announcement sends out a very clear message that the ECB has a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in cricket and that it will root out and punish those who pose a threat to the game's integrity," Collier said.

"We thank the anti-corruption team for their work in bringing this case and trust that it will serve as a stark reminder to all players of the dangers that corrupt activities pose to their careers and livelihoods."

Arif, a left-arm seamer who also represented Pakistan 'A', joined Sussex in time for the 2011 campaign, spending two seasons with the south coast county.

He made 11 appearances for them in the LV= County Championship, 13 in the CB40 and six in the Friends Life t20 before it was announced he would be released in September 2012 after falling down the pecking order at Hove.

Arif expressed his regret and apologised for his actions, admitting he had no excuses

A statement from his solicitors said: "Mr Arif regrets his conduct which has let himself, his team-mates, Sussex County Cricket Club and the cricket fraternity down.

"He is deeply ashamed of his actions and, consequently, bringing the game of cricket into disrepute. These actions were unacceptable and Mr Arif has no excuses.

"Being banned from cricket, the game he loves, is the most severe punishment he could receive. Mr Arif is currently considering his future, having learnt some painful lessons from his past."

Sussex chief executive Zac Toumazi added on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It closes one very unfortunate chapter. It's been awful for everyone."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree