Bangladesh deny corruption claim

A statement released on Sunday by the team management had said Hossain had been disciplined for breaking curfew rules ahead of their washed-out match against Australia in Brisbane last weekend.

But the Dhaka-based English language New Age newspaper and other media reported that the 25-year-old had been under observation by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) for some time.

However, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)’s head of media insisted Hossain was being dealt with for staying out late at night and it had nothing to do with corruption.

Jalal Yunus said: “The ACSU has told us they have nothing against Hossain, but we took action because we have a no-tolerance policy for not obeying team orders.

“There is no truth in reports that he was sent home because of alleged links with bookies.”

Media reports said the ACSU had already spoken to Hossain a few days earlier in Canberra when the team was in the Australian capital for their opening match against Afghanistan.

It has been reported that Hossain admitted knowing an unnamed Indian bookmaker whom he had met in Chennai, where he had gone to have his bowling action tested last year, but the ACSU did not bring any charges against him.

The New Age quoted an unnamed official as saying that Hossain gave three different versions regarding his late-night outing when questioned by team management.

Questioning the player’s mixed versions of events, the paper said: “The question that spurred [the ACSU] most was why he had walked back to the hotel instead of taking a taxi and the player had no answer to that.

“In the face of repeated questioning he finally confessed that he went to meet a bookie who dropped him close to the hotel and the decision to send him back was taken immediately.”??

The paper quoted team manager Khaled Mahmud as saying that Hossain had confessed to his misdemeanour, but did not elaborate.

Bangladesh’s bowling coach Heath Streak insisted Hossain will not be missed because his replacement Shafiul Islam was an “experienced campaigner”

“We are obviously disappointed and sad to see a fellow team-mate go, but it won’t affect us too much,” the former Zimbabwe fast bowler and captain said.

“Shafiul coming in is good because he is a very experienced campaigner and has been part of the dressing room for a long time.”

Teams can usually only bring in replacements at a World Cup for injured players, but the ICC said Bangladesh’s request to call up Shafiul had been approved as an “exceptional circumstance”.

Bangladesh, who beat Afghanistan in their Pool A opener, continue their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in Melbourne on Thursday.