The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended UAE wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber for “absconding” from the team camp during the ongoing T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE. The ECB also confirmed Shabber is part of an ongoing ICC anti-corruption investigation.
Shabber had gone missing ahead of UAE’s match against Hong Kong on October 21 in Abu Dhabi, after leaving the squad and country without explanation, to later resurface in Pakistan. His sudden disappearance had come in the wake of an ICC diktat that had provisionally suspended four UAE players – Mohammad Naveed, Qadeer Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Ashfaq Ahmed – for various breaches of the ICC anti-corruption code. At the time of his disappearance, UAE team manager Peter Kelly had said that Shabber was not part of an investigation.
The ECB said in a release that they had conducted an extensive search for Shabber when it was discovered he wasn’t on the team bus that left for the Hong Kong match. This, they said, included liaising with UAE authorities to track him and ensure his “wellbeing and safety”. Through this extensive search, the board discovered that he had flown out in the early hours of October 21 without informing the team management and without permission from the board.
The board has not pressed formal charges against Shabber.
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