Tambe plays alongside banned Ashraful in T20 tournament

Washington, Aug 5 (IANS) Mumbai leg spinner Pravin Tambe, who played for the now suspended Rajasthan Royals franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has featured in a private T20 tournament in the United States alongside banned Bangladesh cricketer Mohammad Ashraful.

Ashraful is serving a five-year ban imposed on him by the Bangladesh Cricket Board in 2013 for his role in fixing Bangladesh Premier League matches.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), who governs the side for whom Tambe plays domestic cricket, said they were not aware of the incident and that the tweaker had not asked for their permission either, reports espncricinfo.com on Wednesday.

Tambe, however, said he did not know of Ashraful’s involvement until he took the field for the game.

“I had no idea it was an official tournament,” he was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.com.

“I had just gone there to visit my friends in the US for a week of holidays and I was enjoying. I did not even have a kit with me.”

“I was told it was a practice match. When I went to the ground I realised it was Twenty20 match,” Tambe said.

“Till I went into the ground and stood at my fielding position I had no clue that he (Ashraful) was also playing. Even my friends did not know. They were told that some other friend had got him.”

But Tambe played the match. Asked why he did not pull out, he said: “I did not know he was also playing. And I just went there to play a simple game of cricket with my close friends. I told my friends and the organisers I would not like to play in any other game after the incident.”

In July, nine current and former Bangladesh cricketers took part in an unofficial indoor tournament in which Ashraful also played. The BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury has said that the board would look into the matter.

“We have to look into the board’s guidelines exactly and then comment on it,” Chowdhury said.

“Since it is happening frequently, we will look closely. We have to see the board’s anti-corruption rules and procedures before we can say anything about it.”

Tambe’s IPL team was earlier suspended by the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee. The committee suspended two franchises – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) – and banned their two team officials, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, respectively, for life from cricketing activities.

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