UAE based coach suspended over spot fixing offer

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Updated 10 May 2018

UAE based coach suspended over spot fixing offer

KARACHI: United Arab Emirates based coach Irfan Ansari was suspended following allegations from Pakistan's captain Sarfraz Ahmed that he was approached to participate in a spot-fixing scheme, Cricket's administrative body said on Thursday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Ansari was charged with three counts of breaching the body's anti-corruption code.
"Ansari has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect and has been charged for directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a participant to breach the code and for failure or refusal to cooperate with the anti-corruption unit's investigation," said an ICC release.
Ansari, who is originally from Pakistan, has coached a number of small professional clubs in the UAE for years.
The ICC said the suspension comes after Ansari failed to provide requested information to group's anti-corruption wing on two separate occasions.
The charges center on Sarfraz's admission to the Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC that Ansari had approached him about spot fixing during the one-day series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE last October.
Spot-fixing involves determining the outcome of a specific part of a match rather than the overall result, and is therefore harder to detect than match-fixing.
Ansari will now have two weeks to respond to the charges.
"The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage," said the body in a statement.
The PCB took extra measures to stem spot-fixing, with all six teams in this year's league monitored by anti-corruption officers.
Pakistan has a history of fixing cases, the latest being last year's scandal which rocked the Pakistan Super League held in UAE.
A spot-fixing case during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010 ended in five-year bans on then Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.
Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban on charges of spot-fixing during a county match in England in 2009.


Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

Updated 08 July 2020

Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

  • The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded

SHANGHAI: The retirement of two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan signals the end of a golden era of Chinese sporting superstars, state media said on Tuesday.

Arguably the greatest badminton player of all time, the 36-year-old said on Saturday that he was bringing the curtain down on a career that also brought five world titles.

NBA All-Star Yao Ming, Olympic gold-medal hurdler Liu Xiang and two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Li Na have all retired in the last decade.

“With the ‘Super Dan’ curtain call, people cannot help but sigh,” Xinhua news agency said.

“The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded.

“When will the next Lin Dan appear? Or when will the next Yao Ming, Liu Xiang and Li Na appear?

“Where is the next Chinese sports superstar who will create a collective memory for us?”

The quartet were not just world leaders in their sport and popular in China, but also had “considerable influence in the international arena and became a window for the world to understand China,” Xinhua said.

Of prominent Chinese athletes left, women’s volleyball player Zhu Ting has the potential to rise to superstar level, Xinhua said, while disgraced swimmer Sun Yang “enjoys high popularity (in China), but unfortunately he is banned.” 

The 28-year-old is appealing against an 8-year ban for refusing to give a doping sample. The three-time Olympic freestyle champion’s career will effectively be over if he loses his appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

China has world champions in other sports, and finished third behind the US and Britain in the medal table at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but they are not generally well-known even inside the country, Xinhua said.

Table tennis player Zhang Jike, another three-time Olympic gold medalist, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Lin, said the Oriental Sports Daily.

But at 32 his best days are behind him and as far back as 2016 he signaled his intention to retire, before having a change of heart.

“When will the next Lin Dan and China’s next sports superstar appear again?” asked the newspaper.

“This question may not be answered in a short space of time.”