KATHMANDU: Nepal Police on Monday arrested two cricketers- a former and incumbent national team player on an alleged case of spot and match-fixing in the Nepal T20 league that concluded earlier this month.
As per the Police, all-rounder Aadil Ansari and former cricketer Mehboob Alam have been arrested from Rajbiraj and Biratnagar and brought to Kathmandu for further investigation.
Held for the very first time, the Nepal T-20 League commenced at the cricket ground of Tribhuwan University from December 24, 2022 to January 11, 2023. Alam is a former all-rounder of the Nepal National Cricket Team. He has a record of taking 10 wickets in a single match.
Ansari, who was arrested, made his debut in the national team in a match against the US only last June.
With controversies rising about the alleged fixing in the match, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police was assigned to investigate the case where they found the involvement of these two players.
As per CIB, a total of 10 people have been indicted in the case. With two already arrested, Police are looking out for the remaining 8 which include 2 Nepali and 6 foreign nationals.
The issue of fixing in the game came to light after former national cricket captain Gyanendra Malla revealed that one of his teammates was approached with a match-fixing plan.
Besides Malla, one of the tournament’s official commentators, Sachin Timalsena, revealed through his Facebook post that he had found suspicious activities going on while working as a commentator and watching the games closely.
A total of seven or eight Nepal players had reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit about match-fixing offers.
A two-member representative team of the International Cricket Council visited Nepal after allegations of match-fixing, spot-fixing, and betting.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had also written to the National Sports Council, asking for clarification about the tournament being hosted without the council’s permission and payment issues of the foreign players who are participating in the tournament without a work permit.
Also dubbed as the Nepali version of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Nepal T20 featured six teams, Kathmandu Gurkhas, Lumbini All-Stars, Janakpur Royals, Far-Western United, Pokhara Avengers, and Biratnagar Super Kings. It was played in a round-robin format, with each team meeting others in the home and away matches; however all matches were played at TU Cricket Ground.
A total of 67 domestic and 32 foreign players had been signed from the two-day draft held on September 10th and 11th in Kathmandu held last year. (ANI)