Seven3Sports terminates contract with CANBlames the cricket governing body of the country for failing to get approval for the tournament from the National Sports Council.
Indian sports management company Seven3Sports terminated the Nepal T20 League’s contract unilaterally with the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) on Tuesday.
The cricket governing body had leased Nepal T20 League, the country’s first ever franchise cricket tournament, to Seven3Sports as its strategic and commercial partner for eight years. But the first edition of the tournament was mired in controversy following revelation of spot-fixing and players’ complaints that there were non-payment issues.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on January 24 had claimed that 10 people including four Nepali and six foreigners were involved in spot-fixing matches at the League that was held from December 24, 2022 to January 11, 2023.
The CIB have arrested Nepali international Mohammad Aadil Alam (Aadil Ansari) and Mehboob Alam in connection with spot-fixing. The CIB claimed that there were also ‘non-transparent roles’ of Seven3Sports in spot-fixing and financial transactions.
Spot-fixing is a devious tactic mostly used by gamblers to determine the outcome of a part of the game even before it is played.
Sending an email to CAN on Tuesday, Seven3Sports sent a notice announcing the termination of its contract with the cricket governing body. It blamed that CAN failed to get approval for the tournament from the National Sports Council, the apex sports authority of the country.
Among the promised amount of Rs33 million for the first edition of the tournament, Seven3Sports have paid around Rs22 million in three instalments. CAN had struck an eight-year agreement of Rs330 with Seven3Sports.
Neither CAN president Chatur Bahadur Chand nor acting secretary Prashant Bikram Malla, also the coordinator of the T20 Governing Council, responded to the Post despite repeated attempts to reach them.
“As per clause 2 of the amendment agreement dated February 24th 2022, the effective date for the enforcement of the Main Agreement shall be the date on which the National Sports Council (NSC) or Ministry of Sports and Youth, Government of Nepal approves the Main Agreement,” Seven3Sports managing director Jatin Ahluwalia wrote to the Post in an email.
“CAN has till date not shared any such approval with us but has re-assured that the Main Agreement has been approved by NSC. CAN failure to obtain NSC approvals has also resulted in the lack of work permit from the Ministry of Labour which was required for overseas players.”
Ahluwalia further accused CAN of “deliberately misrepresenting and concealing facts from Seven3Sports.”
“In light of the above, we have served the termination notice of the Main Agreement as the main condition was not fulfilled breaching the Section 44(2) of the National Sports Development Act of Nepal,” he said.
A task force by the NSC formed to investigate the controversy surrounding the scandalous Nepal T20 has concluded that the agreement was against the provision of National Sports Development Act 2077 and suggested that it need to be scrapped immediately.
Organising a press conference on January 25, CAN president Chatur Bahadur Chand had said that there were flaws in the process of contract with Seven3Sports and they would initiate the process for scrapping it.
However, Seven3Sports itself terminated the contract unilaterally five days after the press conference.
Ahluwalia claimed that Seven3Sports didn’t get involved in any wrongdoings during the tournament. “None of us had any role in match-fixing at all,” he said. “We have requested CIB to minutely investigate every match and protect the integrity of the Cricket for which Seven3Sports has worked so hard.”