CAN members want Chand to step downSeven executive members have demanded resignation of top executives for their ‘suspicious’ role in spot-fixing.
Seven executive committee members of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) on Sunday demanded the resignation of top office bearers of the cricket governing body including president Chatur Bahadur Chand and acting secretary Prashant Bikram Malla for their ‘suspicious’ role in spot-fixing during the controversy-hit Nepal Twenty20 League.
Organising a joint press conference, CAN executive members Rishiram Gautam, Daud Ansari, Sanjay Raj Singh, Karan Mahatara Chhetri, Amit Bir Pandey, Chhumbi Lama and Dharmaraj Giri made the demand.
Nepal T20, the first ever franchise tournament organised by CAN from December 24, 2022 to January 11, 2023 was dragged into a huge controversy following revelations of spot-fixing by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police, and non-payment to players by their franchises and organisers.
CAN had leased the event to Indian sports management company, Seven3Sports, for eight years as a commercial and strategic partner. But the company fled during the middle of the tournament and is also under investigation for a suspicious role in spot-fixing.
The CIB arrested veteran cricketer Mehboob Alam and emerging star Mohammad Aadil Alam (Aadil Ansari) alleging their involvement in spot-fixing. They have also pointed out the suspicious and non-transparent role of Seven3Sports.
“President Chand, acting secretary Malla and treasurer Roshan Singh have already admitted that there were flaws while conducting Nepal T20,” said Ansari referring to a recent press conference called by CAN on January 26. “The whole CAN work execution committee – president Chand, acting secretary Malla, treasurer Roshan Singh, members Durga Raj Pathak and Padam Khadka – should resign on moral grounds.”
“We have raised questions regarding the company since the beginning and also wrote notes of dissent requesting the leadership not to lease them. We had urged them to open a global tender before striking a deal. But they ignored our voices,” Ansari added.
“Our ambition is to save Nepali cricket from disaster rather than get CAN suspended. Nepali cricket should not be punished due to the weaknesses of a few individuals. The agreement was also very much non-transparent and they never gave us the copy of agreement, despite asking for it time and again,” said Gautam, one of the seven members.
“We had told the leadership repeatedly that the agreement was against the Sports Development Act 2077. But the leadership endorsed it forcefully through board meeting and general assembly,” said Ansari.
A task force formed by the apex sports authority of the country, National Sports Council (SNC), on January 26 concluded that the agreement with Seven3Sports was against the Sports Development Act and needed to be scrapped immediately.
“As they decided to lease the tournament to a dubious company, despite our repeated warnings, they must take responsibility for the debacle and pave a way out. It is very sad that the players are handcuffed due to flaws of CAN leadership. It is disappointing that the players have been handcuffed due to the wrong decisions of the leadership,” added Ansari.
“The T20 Governing Council coordinator Malla and members Durga Raj Pathak, Bhanu Bhakta Sigdel, Ashok Malhotra, and Seven3Sports managing director Jatin Ahluwalia are also guilty,” Ansari alleged.
“Such types of people must be either punished or suspended by the concerned authorities, so that the next leadership dare not repeat such acts in the future,” Gautam said. “We will write to the NSC and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take action against them.”
Chhumbi Lama, the other member, said that CAN did not bother to take permission from NSC or the Ministry of Youth and Sports. “CAN is involved at some point in this fiasco and the leaders must be held accountable for it.”