Mumbai Ranji Trophy cricketer Hiken Shah was found guilty of making a "corrupt approach" to a fellow-player during the Indian Premier League and suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India with immediate effect.
The BCCI said that Shah was found guilty of breaching the Board's Anti-Corruption Code for participants and the matter was referred to its disciplinary committee for further action.
"BCCI would wish to inform that Mumbai Cricketer, Hiken Shah, has been suspended with immediate effect. He was found guilty of breaching BCCI's Anti-Corruption Code for participants," read a statement from BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.
"His involvement in any form of cricket affiliated with the BCCI stands suspended till the time the disciplinary committee of the BCCI passes appropriate orders.
“Hiken Shah made a corrupt approach to one of his colleagues from first-class cricket, who is also a member of one of the IPL teams. The approached player immediately informed the incident to his franchise team. The franchise team followed the process of informing the incident to the Anti Corruption Unit of the BCCI," it added.
The 30-year-old batsman, who is not part of any IPL team, has played 37 first-class matches for Mumbai and scored 2160 runs, at an average of 42.35.
A source told PTI that the player approached by Shah was Rajasthan Royals' Pravin Tambe, who promptly took the matter to the BCCI.
"Based on the information, BCCI President, Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya, instructed ACU to conduct an immediate enquiry into the matter. After a detailed inquiry into the reported incident, the inquiry commissioner found Hiken Shah guilty of 'committing breach of Articles 2.1.1; 2.1.2; and 2.1.4 of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code for participants and recommended their provisions to the BCCI President'," the statement further read.
The news of a player being approached came to light before the start of this year's IPL. The BCCI confirmed the incident but did not disclose any names then.
BCCI president Dalmiya said the action against Shah was part of the Board's zero tolerance policy towards corruption.
"BCCI has zero tolerance for corruption in the game of cricket. We have and we will take swift action against such incidents to set a precedent and control the menace of corruption in the game.
"While placing the player under suspension, I have referred the matter to the disciplinary committee of the BCCI to take further action against the player involved," he said.
Thakur also reiterated the Board's commitment towards ensuring a clean game.
"This particular incident demonstrates that BCCI's education policy against corruption is showing results, as the player approached was vigilant enough to report the matter to the ACU of the BCCI.
"Having said that, the fight against corruption is an ongoing battle and we will not leave any stone unturned. BCCI is committed to keep cricket corruption-free," he said.
Rajasthan is not alien to the threat of spot-fixing. Former India paceman Shantakumaran Sreesanth and two other cricketers, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, from the team were arrested in 2013 on suspicion of taking money to concede a fixed number of runs during a match.
Sreesanth, who denied any wrongdoing, was subsequently banned for life by the BCCI.
Image: Hiken Shah
Photograph: Harish Kotian/Rediff.com