West Indies batsman Devon Thomas, 33, has been provisionally suspended from international cricket with immediate effect by the International Cricket Council (ICC), after being charged with seven violations of the Anti-Corruption code.
The charges specifically include his behaviour while at Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, during their title winning 2021 season.
Thomas is in the West Indies squad for their maiden One-Day International (ODI) series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Sharjah on 5, 7 and 9 June. However, he was not selected to play in the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which starts on 18 June in Zimbabwe.
An ICC statement today confirmed that Thomas was charged “on behalf of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL)”.
The most serious charge is that Thomas contrived or was party to “an agreement to fix or attempt to fix, contrive or influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspects of matches in the Lanka Premier League 2021”.
Thomas represented Kandy Warriors in the 2021 Lanka Premier League (LPL), although he played just a solitary match.
The Antigua-born wicketkeeper-batsman was further charged with “failing to disclose […] full details of an approach” to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), “failing or refusing, without compelling justification, to cooperate” in an ACU investigation, and “obstructing or delaying” the investigation by “concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information”.
Thomas was also charged with “failing to disclose full details of an approach in the Abu Dhabi T10 2021 and CPL 2021” competitions.
Thomas played for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 2021 CPL competition, although Trinidad and Tobago wicket-keeper batsman replaced him in the XI by the time the Patriots won the regional T20 competition.
According to the ICC, Thomas failed “to disclose to the designated Anti-Corruption official, without unnecessary delay, full details of an approach or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct in relation to the CPL 2021”.
He also did not “disclose to the designated Anti-Corruption official (without unnecessary delay) the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or benefit (a) that he knew or should have known was made in order to procure a breach of the CPL Code, or (b) could have brought the player or the game of cricket into disrepute.”
Thomas has 14 days from 23 May 2023 to respond to the ICC’s charges.
The Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirmed only that it is “not directly involved in the process” regarding the corruption charges against Thomas and “fully supports the ICC ACU in its efforts to uphold the integrity of the sport”.
The CWI also denounced corruption in cricket.
“While the matter continues, CWI will not make any further comments in respect of these charges,” stated the regional board. “In collaboration with ICC and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), CWI remains committed to sensitising and educating our players and officials on anti-corruption in sports.”
The CWI has not yet named a replacement for Thomas in the squad that travels to Sharjah.
Current West Indies squad for UAE Series:
Shai Hope (captain), Brandon King (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Kavem Hodge, Akeem Jordan, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Raymon Reifer, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas.