The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed that it had received a copy of the Ebrahim Report which recommends a five year ban for former Kenyan captain, Maurice Odumbe after a hearing into charges that he had received money, benefit or other reward which could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute.
The recommendation has subsequently been implemented by the Kenyan Cricket Association (KCA), a decision supported by ICC Chief Executive, Malcolm Speed.
‘In light of the findings of the Ebrahim Report, the decision by the KCA to implement the recommendation for a five year ban is entirely appropriate,’ said Mr Speed.
Mr Speed said that the report would now be forwarded on to the ICC’s Code of Conduct Commission for its review.
‘The Ebrahim Report will now be provided to the ICC Code of Conduct Commission which oversees formal enquiries into conduct that in the opinion of the Executive Board is prejudicial to the interests of the game for its review,’ said Mr Speed.
‘A report and recommendations from the Code of Conduct Commission on the Ebrahim Report will then be provided to the ICC Executive Board for its ratification.’
Mr Speed said that in light of the initial request from Mr Odumbe’s counsel for an open hearing and the decision of Justice Ebrahim to grant this request, the full report would be published on the ICC’s website as soon as practicable.
‘Following a submission from Mr Odumbe’s counsel, Justice Ebrahim granted the request for an open hearing and consistent with this decision, as soon as the report is available in electronic form, the ICC will publish its findings on its website, icc-cricket.com,’ said Mr Speed.
In the meantime, Mr Speed has written to all Chief Executives of Test-playing countries to highlight the importance of remaining vigilant in light of the ban on Mr Odumbe.
‘The Ebrahim Report is sobering reading for everyone in the game. It highlights that the risk of corruption remains very real and everyone must be alert to the dangers,’ said Mr Speed.
In particular, Mr Speed highlighted Justice Ebrahim’s conclusions to illustrate the dangers remaining in the game.
Justice Ebrahim was direct in his views on Mr Odumbe’s actions.
‘I do not believe that anyone involved in cricket had any doubts as to what was expected of them and what sanctions were in place in the event of anyone breaching the rules,’ said Justice Ebrahim in his report.
‘Far from shouldering this responsibility, Mr Odumbe has shown himself to be dishonest and devious in his behaviour in relation to the game of cricket. He has been callous and greedy in the way he has conducted himself.
‘There is no suggestion that he was in desperate straits and in dire need of money because of some serious difficulty which may have befallen him. The evidence, if anything, shows him living a lifestyle of pleasure and irresponsibility.
‘Far from taking heed of the warnings of the dire consequences which would follow such behaviour that the ICC has spread across the cricket world, through such organizations as the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, cricket referees, etcetera, Mr Odumbe chose to thumb his nose at all these warnings and continued his dishonest ways.
‘Mr Odumbe has exhibited no remorse. He has not indicated any intention to mend his ways. Instead he has chosen to cast doubts on the honesty and integrity of people who have despaired of his behaviour.
‘In my view, a five year ban would meet the justice of the case and I so recommend.’
In relation to the particular charges of receiving ‘money, benefit or other reward that could bring himself or the game of cricket into disrepute’, Justice Ebrahim, found the following instances proven:
1. Association with a known bookmaker;
2. Accepting the provision of hotel accommodation in India in January 2002 from a known bookmaker and/or his associates;
3. Accepting the provision of hotel accommodation in India in May 2002 from a known bookmaker and/or his associates;
4. Accepting during the hotel stay in India in May 2002 the provision of the sums of 6000 rupees and 10,000 rupees;
5. Accepting the provision of hotel accommodation at the Sun-n-Sand Hotel in India in October 2002 from a known bookmaker and/or his associates;
6. Accepting the provision of hotel accommodation at the Leela Hotel in India in October 2002 from a known bookmaker and/or his associates;
7. Accepting the provision of hotel accommodation in India in November 2002 from a known bookmaker and/or his associates;
8. Accepting on checking out of the hotel in November 2002 the sum of 317 rupees;
9. Admitting that he had received the sum of US$5000 to fix a match;
10. Receiving the sum of US$10,000 in cash from a known bookmaker in June 2002;
11. Receiving the sum of US8000 in cash from a known bookmaker on an unidentified date in 2002-03; and
12. Admitting to receiving US$5000 for fixing a match in Zimbabwe.
In his report, Justice Ebrahim also deals with a number of procedural points raised by Mr Odumbe’s counsel in relation to the hearing and finds that there are no grounds raised by Mr Odumbe’s lawyers that provide a defence against the charges or render the proceedings invalid.
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