The Board of Control for Cricket in India has finished their investigation into Mohammed Shami following his wife’s claims that he was involved in match-fixing, saying that ‘no further actions/proceedings under the BCCI anti-corruption code are warranted in the matter’.
Following the decision, the board also revealed the central contract awarded to Shami, saying he has been slotted in the ‘B grade’ along with KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma and Dinesh Karthik.
Players in this category will receive Rs 3 crore a year.
On 7 March, when the BCCI has announced annul retainers for both male and female cricketers, Mohammed Shami’s name had been held back since just a few hours earlier, his wife, Hasin Jahan had publicly made allegations of adultery and domestic violence against the cricketer.
However, there has been no mention of any match-fixing charges at the time (watch full video below).
In today’s media release though, the BCCI seem to suggest they had withheld his name due to the fixing charges, which Hasin had come forward with, only a few days later.
In a formal statement, the BCCI said that “the Committee of Administrators (CoA) 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.”
According to the release, based on the conclusions made by Neeraj Kumar that were submitted to the CoA in a ‘confidential’ file, Shami has been cleared of all charges.
According to PTI though, some of the board’s senior officials had felt that the player need not have gone through this ordeal based on unsubstantiated charges.
"The CoA rather than feeling happy and chest-thumping that they have conducted investigations should feel embarrassed that based on mere allegations, he was made to look like a traitor, however short the span may be. The CoA has been left with eggs on their face," a senior official from anti-CoA faction said.
"This is a very good news for Shami and for Indian cricket. The charges of corruption against him looked too far-fetched. He has been a committed player for India. The BCCI is happy that he has come clean after a thorough investigation by its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). It is only fair that he can now earn his livelihood as a professional cricketer and should be back in the field for the upcoming IPL." - CK Khanna, BCCI acting president to PTI
Shami’s IPL season too had come under cloud immediately after his wife’s claims, however IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla had clarified that he would be allowed to play if he gets a clean-chit from the ACU.
Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua was also happy with the development as Shami is an integral part of their bowling unit.
"I have just received the confirmation from the BCCI that Shami has been absolved of all charges related to corruption allegations. It’s a welcome news for the franchise and we are happy to have him back. We expect him to join the camp from the very first day." - Hemant Dua, Delhi Daredevils CEO
Asked how much of a relief it is for the franchise as corruption charges can also adversely affect the brand, Dua said: "When it came to corruption charges, we never had an iota of doubt that Shami is innocent. He is an honest cricketer and would have never done any such thing. We even spoke to Shami during this period. But we also have to follow the instructions of BCCI. It was only fair that the matter was investigated and he has come out clean."
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