Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary


The Cricket Association of Nepal faces suspension after the National Sports Council's inquiry team ruled that the Nepal T20 League management contract was improperly awarded to a foreign company.

The five-member committee was formed under council member Ekendra Kunwar on January 4 to probe into CAN's flagship T20 competition. 

The committee gathered statements from nearly 20 people, including current and former national team players and cricket administrators.

The six-team franchise league, which took place at the TU Cricket Ground from December 24 to January 11, was dragged into the controversy over poor management, illegal betting and spot-fixing to fielding foreign players without a work permit.

The probe panel submitted its report to NSC Member Secretary Tankalal Ghising on Wednesday. 

Together with its findings, the report has offered a four-point recommendation to the country's apex sports body.

The first point of the report states that the concerned parties at CAN awarded the Nepal T20 League project to a foreign company in breach of the prevailing laws, rules and conditions of Section 28 and the provisions in Sub-section (2) of Section 44 under the National Sports Development Act, 2077. 

"As a result, Section 29 of the National Sports Development Act, 2077, applies to the activities of the parties involved," the report said.

Section 29 of the Sports Development Act 2077 says that the NSC can suspend an association for up to three months if it does not follow its rules and instructions. Therefore, the council may suspend CAN. In the past, however, when the NSC got involved, the International Cricket Council suspended CAN.

CAN’s agreement with Seven3Sports has gone beyond commercial and strategic partnership to giving the right to organise the entire competition, the inquiry team has found. CAN passed the controversial agreement at its general meeting in Dhangadhi on February 14 and 15, 2022.

Under the provisions of the Rs330-million eight-year deal, Seven3Sports had to pay Rs39 million in the first year. However, CAN has only received Rs22 million.

The Kunwar panel has called for an immediate scrapping of the Nepal T20 League contract with the controversial Indian company Seven3Sports. 

Based on what the Central Investigation Bureau has found in its ongoing investigation of illegal activities to fix league matches, the panel has suggested that the officials concerned to cooperate with the security agency to bring those found guilty to justice according to the law and Section 33 of the National Sports Development Act of 2077.

It has also advised the NSC to coordinate with the ICC, the game's world governing body.

The Nepal Police's CIB confirmed on Tuesday that ten people, including four Nepalis, were involved in live betting and spot-fixing during the Nepal T20 League. 

On Monday (January 23), the police arrested national team player Mohammed Adil Alam and former cricketer Mahboob Alam for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the competition. The CIB has obtained a court order to extend their detention for five days. 

The CIB investigation found that Mehboob Alam had approached two players with offers to spot-fix league games. 

According to the CIB, Adil bowled a wide and a no-ball in at least two matches, as spot-fixers instructed him to do during the competition. Three of the five players, when approached, refused the offer to fix a game and reported it to the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit instead.

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