The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on Tuesday said that 10 persons, including four Nepalis were involved in spot-fixing during Nepal T20 League held from December 24, 2022 to January 11, 2023.
Organising a press conference at its headquarters, CIB revealed that among the four Nepalis, one was a player while the three others were middlemen. “Our initial investigation shows that 10 people were involved in fixing. Among the six foreigners, four of them were from the management, while one was a player and one a middleman,” said Sanjay Singh Thapa, the CIB Superintendent of Police.
The first ever franchise cricket tournament organised by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) was plunged into a crisis after revelations of match-fixing by former national cricket captain Gyanendra Malla. Suspicious activities were also reported by tournament’s television commentator Sachin Timelsena during the middle of the event.
Meanwhile, the Kathmandu District Court remanded veteran cricketer Mehboob Alam and emerging star Mohammad Aadil Alam (Aadil Ansari), both arrested on Monday, for five days for further investigations on Tuesday. The duo were remanded as per the National Sports Development Act 2077.
According to Thapa, Mehboob approached at least two players with a fixing proposal, while Aadil was involved in spot fixing in at least two matches. “Aadil bowled a no-ball and a wide- ball as per the instructions of the fixer, in two matches,” said Thapa.
He added that three players reported to the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) from among the five players who got fixing proposals.
CIB Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dinesh Acharya informed that the players were offered Rs 600,000 to Rs 1 million for spot-fixing in a game. “The fixers used whatsapp, phone, text messages and coffee shops to approach the players,” said Acharya.
Acharya also revealed that one overseas player ( his name was not disclosed) scored the exact number of runs he was instructed to score by his team manager as part of spot-fixing. “It would be difficult for us to take action against overseas players due to cross-country law. But, he could be arrested if he visits Nepal again,” said Acharya.
Apart from the fixing fiasco, non-payment to players and suspicious activities of India’s sports management company Seven3Sports, involved in the tournament as strategic and commercial partner after CAN leased the event to the company, brought further controversy to the event.
The CIB had formed a probe committee to investigate the fixing allegations nearly three weeks ago, following directives by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Acharya further said that the role of Seven3Sports was non-transparent and they are still under investigation. “The expenses in the league do not seem clean and the role of Seven3Sports managing director Jatin Ahluwalia is also suspicious. We are not in a position to elaborate more and are still investigating the issue.”