Media blew match fixing issues out of proportion, CAN president saysChand denies wrongdoings and says the cricket boards don’t get punished for players’ involvement in fixing.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) president Chatur Bahadur Chand on Thursday said that media raised the issues of match fixing unnecessarily during the controversy-hit Nepal T20 League held from December 24, 2022 to January 11, 2023 in Kirtipur, Kathmandu.
Though Chand made such claims at a press conference on Thursday, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on Tuesday had revealed that 10 people including Nepali and overseas players, and team managers, among others, were involved in match fixing.
Police have arrested Nepali international Mohammad Aadil Alam (Aadil Ansari) and Mehboob Alam, alleging them of their involvement in spot fixing during the first ever franchise T20 league organised by CAN.
“It was natural for fans to have wrong perception about the game after such disturbing media reports,” said Chand, adding that the rumours CAN conducted the League for personal benefit were disappointing.
“Our motive of organising the tournament was inspired with the view that CAN needs to have its own franchise League and the Nepal T20 could be a good project. Nepali players could earn Rs1.5 million by playing at home and CAN could also earn some bucks,” said Chand.
India’s sports management company Seven3Sports, involved in the tournament as strategic and commercial partner after CAN leased the event to the company for eight years, had fled from Nepal during the middle of the tournament.
Chand added that Seven3Sports leaving Nepal without prior notice to CAN was also disappointing. He, however, attributed that there were some flaws in agreement with the Indian company. “We did not find any bad record of the company in the past. How could we know if they came here with the wrong intention. I don’t claim everything we did was cent percent correct and there were some flaws on our part too. But we did not do any wrongdoings deliberately,” he said.
Meanwhile, a task force formed by the supreme sports body of the country National Sports Council (NSC) to look into controversy surrounding Nepal T20 on Wednesday had suggested CAN scrap the agreement with Seven3Sports among others. Apart from NSC, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is also investigating the league controversy of Nepal.
“Seven3Sports is already under investigation of CIB and we will follow the instructions of the governing body,” said Chand, who also claimed that CAN was clean in the fixing scandal and warned indirectly that Nepal cricket go into similar disaster (as that of 2016 to 2019 when CAN was banned by the ICC) should governing body interfere CAN.
“If there were any mistakes we need to amend them rather than take Nepali cricket downwards. I have already said Nepal cricket went through disaster in the past for four years and I wish Nepali cricket does not get suspended again. We need to bring it back to track,” said Chand. “As CAN’s president I don’t lament on anything and we need to be given an opportunity to amend mistakes,” he said.
He also claimed that CAN was not guilty in fixing despite the suspicious role of their commercial and strategic partner. “It was players who were involved in fixing scandal and there is no instance of boards being punished by ICC. Hope the investigations will bring all the truth out.”
CAN acting secretary Prashant Bikram Malla said that five among the six teams of the tournament have already received payment. “Many of them have got full payments. One team will get 60 percent payment by this week and all payments will be settled within a couple of months,” he said.
Malla also added that Seven3Sports were accountable for prize money. “I am communicating with them and they have said they would give the prize money,” said Malla, adding that they would start legal proceedings if their partner do not fulfill their responsibility.
Champions Lumbini All Stars need to get Rs 5.5million in prize money and runners up Biratnagar Super Kings Rs3 million.