CAN embroiled in new controversy

Published On: May 17, 2019 01:25 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Mainali, Independent Panel in dispute over CAN membership

KATHMANDU, May 17: The Supreme Court issued a show-cause notice on Thursday to Independent Panel, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), Nepal Sports Council (NSC), Banke District Cricket Association (BDCA) and an accountant of suspended CAN a day after vice-president of CAN Binod Mainali filed a writ petition in the apex court against them demanding continuation of his membership. 

A single bench of Justice Tanka Moktan issued the verdict on Thursday. 

The Supreme Court has ordered the defendants to submit a response in writing through the office of Attorney General within 15 days.

The CAN, which is in crisis following the suspension from the International Cricket Council (ICC) three years ago, has been in process of its reinstatement. The Panel, formed by the ICC to resolve the disputes and convene the structural elections (center and member districts) for the new CAN, had made public the list of former members and districts who were not allowed from representing the new elections citing their failure to show documents of advance clearances until 2014 as they needed to come clean over the charges of financial irregularities.

Mainali accused the panel of not allowing him to apply which he claimed is against the statute of the elected CAN. “I had cleared all my advances till 2014 but the panel enlisted me as restricted,” he claimed.

However, the member of Panel and former Nepal national cricket team captain Lekh Bahadur Chhetri claimed that he never received any such documents despite that he was given sufficient time for the restricted members before taking the decision. 

“Panel had already given them the deadline. They are disqualified on the grounds of incomplete documents. They need to show proper documents to re-qualify as members who can be a part of cricket administration. We need legal proofs in writing,” Chhetri told Republica.

He further added that elected (suspended) body of CAN used to sit for meetings frequently but failed to address and resolve the disputes related to financial irregularities in CAN. 

Chhetri also said that the panel’s legal advisor hasn’t received any statement from the Supreme Court regarding the issue as to whether Mainali wants to halt the district elections until his case is solved or wants to stop the entire CAN reinstating process.

“We are close to reinstatement of CAN but things like these are examples of vested interests that some are putting ahead and above of Nepali cricket. These things are like infection, which can spread like a chronic disease. ICC may not take this simply. They might react strongly and may resort to a last step which might be dissolution of CAN itself.”

Mainali assured that his intention is to regain his position as the member of CAN and that his pending case should not affect the reinstatement process. 

“I do not want to create a new controversy. I just want to correct the injustice done against me. My writ petition should not cause any disruption toward reinstatement of the CAN. Some people are deliberately trying to oust me from cricket. I wish to stay as a member of the CAN,” said Mainali.

Panel had barred Mainali along with Vice-president Naresh Shrestha, Shailesh Kumar Chaudhary, Ratan Bahadur Kathayat, Secretary Uttam Karmacharya, member Kiran Rana, Sunil Singh, former members Krishna Kanhaiya Kayastha, Prem Senchury, Anup Shumsher Thapa, coach Manjul Alam Khan, curator Prafulla Sagar Pradhan and Chakra Bahadur Saud.

A five-member Independent Panel (monitoring committee) was formed to work for the reinstatement of the CAN back in July 2018. 

Chhetri and Kathmandu District Cricket Association’s (KDCA) representative Thakur Pratap Thapa are coordinating with the ICC’s representatives: Muhammad Ali Aslam (ICC Head of Internal Audit), Ammar Shaikh (ICC Senior Manager– Strategic Projects) and Niteesha Kothari (ICC Finance & Operations Officer – Asia).

The Vice-president of the CAN, Diwakar Ghale, had stated that the stagnated reinstatement of suspended CAN was boosted by resumption of the process of withdrawing the pending court-case from the Supreme Court earlier this year. 

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