CIB confirms involvement of 11 persons in spot-fixing in Nepal T-20 league

Published On: February 14, 2023 10:00 AM NPT By: Sara Pahari

KATHMANDU, Feb 14: The investigation into 'spot fixing' in the Nepal T-20 League, which was held last month at Tribhuvan University's sports ground, has been completed. After getting the information that there was spot-fixing in the T-20 league, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police had started an investigation from January 8.

According to CIB Spokesperson Kamal Thapa, the spot-fixing investigation has been completed.

He said, "The investigation is over. We worked even on holidays. It is ongoing. We are preparing to submit the file to the public prosecutor by Tuesday. It has been confirmed that 11 people, five Nepalis and six foreigners, were involved.”

The CIB started the investigation after the Ministry of Home Affairs directed it to investigate 'match fixing' and spot-fixing.

The CIB formed a six-member investigation committee headed by DSP Sundar Tiwari to investigate the matter. The committee took statements from Cricket Association Nepal officials and more than a dozen players. Statements were also taken from four foreign players.

The National Sports Council (NSC) formed a five-member investigation committee under the leadership of board member Ekendra Kunwar, while the ICC, the supreme body of world cricket, conducted an investigation.

Police investigation found that the people involved in fixing were those in the managerial role. They coerced the players to get involved in spot-fixing, an illegal activity in which a specific aspect of the game, irrespective of the final result, is fixed for the betting market.

During the preliminary investigation of the police, it came to light that Mehboob Alam, who is also a former national cricket player, tried spot-fixing by offering financial incentives to at least two Nepali players.

Investigations revealed that Mehboob Alam approached Nepali player Mohammad Aadil Alam to throw a ‘no ball’ and one ‘wide ball’ and he did exactly the same in at least two matches he played.

“It has been found that people who were in the managerial role of the game or people who were associated with the game were involved in the fixing. Accordingly, we have moved forward to bring the issue into legal scope,” Thapa said.

During the investigation, based on evidence collected from Whatsapp messages and phone call details, the police arrested two Nepalis involved in the fixing. Among those arrested are Mehboob Alam, 41, a former cricketer of Nepal’s national cricket team from Saptari and Mohammad Aadil Alam, 20, a cricketer from Bara.

On February 7, police arrested Nitesh Gupta, a permanent resident of Birgunj, Parsa on the charge of spot-fixing.

The Nepal T-20 League was held on the TU Cricket Ground from 24th December to 11th January. Ansari played for Janakpur Royals in the Nepal T-20 League. According to the CIB, it is said that Alam made Jatin, the owner of Seven3Sports, contact other players in Nepal. Ansari is also said to be in direct contact with Jatin. Ansari's direct contact with Malik, who was a commercial partner of a sportsperson, drew suspicion toward Ansari.

On the 3rd of January, the players of Kathmandu Knights and Biratnagar Super Kings refused to enter the field at the scheduled time on the grounds that they had not received their wages at the Tribhuvan University cricket ground in Kirtipur. They were ready to take the field only after the commitment of the Nepal Cricket Association (CAN) officials.

Sachin Timalsina, who was a commentator of the league, posted a video on social media on the same day and said that he had withdrawn from the competition as he had experienced match-fixing in the league. Soon after, the captain of Kathmandu Knights, Gyanendra Malla, said that one of his team's players was approached for match-fixing.

While the protest of the players was going on in the field, the news of spot fixing in the Nepal T-20 League was published outside the field. Moreover, this accusation was strengthened when Jatin Ahluwalia, the owner of Seven3Sports, who is a commercial partner, became contactless a day before. According to the CIB, Jatin Ahluwalia, the owner of Seven3Sports Company, is the mastermind behind the fixing incident in the Nepal T20 League.

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