Cricket body in a fix as opposing factions trade chargesChand challenges the agitating seven members to oust him during general assembly.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) president Chatur Bahadur Chand on Wednesday said that the actions of the dissident faction at the cricket governing body could lead to its suspension.
On Tuesday, seven executive members of the CAN—Rishiram Gautam, Daud Ansari, Sanjay Raj Singh, Karan Mahatara Chhetri, Amit Bir Pandey, Chhumbi Lama and Dharmaraj Giri— submitted an application demanding the resignation of top office bearers at the board meeting in Pokhara. They also boycotted the meeting.
They demanded resignation of all five members of the work execution committee—president Chand, acting secretary Prashant Bikram Malla, treasurer Roshan Singh and members Durga Raj Pathak and Padam Khadka—on moral ground for their failure in the scandalous Nepal T20 League.
The faction led by Gautam has warned that ‘the current leadership must take responsibility for possible future disaster in cricket’ referring to possible suspension.
Chand, however, accused the dissident faction of ‘knocking the door of suspension themselves’. He also challenged the faction to remove the work execution committee members through special general assembly. “They came up with an astounding proposal demanding resignation of five office bearers,” said Chand at a press conference in Pokhara. “I challenge them to remove us through special general assembly.”
Chand assured of calling special general assembly as per CAN’s statute if 33 percent of the members file a written application. “I will step down only if I don’t get a majority there,” he said.
The meeting has also decided to prepone CAN election by four months. “Though the election should have been held by mid-October as per regular schedule, we have decided to hold it by mid-June,” Chand said, adding that they were not in the situation to hold election before that date due to congestion of international events in the country.
Chand also claimed that they did not have any role in spot-fixing at the Nepal T20. But on January 29, the dissident faction had alleged the leadership of leasing Nepal T20 to India sports management company Seven3Sports unilaterally. The faction had claimed the leadership struck the deal with Seven3Sprots forcefully despite their repeated warnings not to sign the contract.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police later revealed the suspicious role of Seven3Sports in fixing and non-transparent financial transactions. Police also arrested two Nepali players in connection with the scandal.
Seven3Sports yet to pay around Rs10 million to CAN
Seven3Sports, who the CAN had leased Nepal T20 League to for eight years as strategic and commercial partner, is yet to pay more than Rs10 million to the cricket governing body. As per the contract between CAN and Seven3Sports, the Indian company should have paid the cricket governing body Rs33 million in the first edition of the tournament and Rs330 million in the eight-years period.
But Seven3Sports have paid only around Rs22 million to CAN so far, according to treasurer Roshan Singh. Seven3Sports on Tuesday terminated the Nepal T20 League contract unilaterally, alleging that CAN did not get approval for the tournament from the National Sports Council, the apex sports authority of the country.
“The effective date for the enforcement of the agreement shall be the date on which NSC or Ministry of Sports and Youth, Government of Nepal approves the tournament,” Seven3Sports had written to the Post on Monday claiming that CAN deceived them.
CAN president Chand said that they would collect the remaining amount from the sports management company by hook or crook. Chand also alleged that the company ‘staged a stunt’ by terminating the contract so that they need not pay the remaining amount to CAN.
CAN acting secretary Malla, who stepped down from his post on Tuesday, claimed that they put their full effort into curbing spot-fixing. He was also the coordinator of Nepal T20 League Governing Council, which was dissolved at the meeting.
“The proposal of spot-fixing is very common nowadays in the whole world and we have coordinated with securities agencies of the country to curb it,” Malla said. “It was more a matter of the greed of players rather than involvement of any CAN official in spot-fixing.” He said that he resigned as acting secretary on moral grounds.”
Lamichhane’s suspension lifted
The meeting decided to lift the suspension on former captain Sandeep Lamichhane, who is accused of raping a minor on August 21. However, he is excluded from the central contract effective from January to June.
The cricket governing body’s decision has paved the way for the 22-year-old to play at national and international tournaments. He was suspended by CAN on September 8. It, however, is not clear whether he will be called in the national team camp of Nepal Tri-Series for ICC World League 2 involving Namibia and Scotland.
He was released on bail by Patan High Court but if the charge against him is proven, he will be imprisoned for 10 to 12 years per the existing legal provisions. Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Patan High Court’s decision.
Women Players reduced at central contract
The number of women players to get a central contract from CAN has been reduced to 12 from 18 while there are 18 male players to get the contract. The contract will be valid for six months from January to June.
National women’s team captain Rubina Chhetry, Sita Rana Magar and Indu Barma have been categorised into Grade ‘A’ while Kajol Shrestha, Kabita Kunwar and Asmina Karmacharya are in Grade ‘B’. Grade ‘C’ consists of Kabita Joshi, Bindu Rawal, Sangita Rai, Mamata Chaudhary, Jyoti Pandey and Apsari Begam.
Five male players have been categorised into Grade ‘A’ while former captain Gyanendra Malla has been demoted to Grade ‘B’. National captain Rohit Kumar Paudel, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Dipendra Singh Airee and Aasif Sheikh are in ‘A’ category. Apart from Malla, ‘B’ Grade includes Aarif Sheikh and Kushal Bhurtel.
Kamal Singh Airee, Binod Bhandari, Gulshan Jha, Arjun Saud, Abinash Bohara, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, Kushal Malla, Dev Khanal, Sagar Dhakal and Bivek Yadav are in Grade ‘C’.