The International Cricket Council (ICC) is keeping a close watch on the match-fixing allegations in the last edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) and will only interfere if there’s evidence that merits the world governing body’s intervention.
“The TNPL is a domestic league that falls under the purview of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The ICC does not interfere in such instances,” a top-ranked official told The Telegraph on Tuesday. “But the BCCI works in tandem with ICC in such matters and there’s always exchange of vital information.”
The ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit is monitoring the mushrooming of such T20 leagues not only in India but across the world. Allegations of match-fixing have been flowing rapidly but very little has been done to restrict such practices.
The T20 league conducted by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association has come under the scanner after several players reported alleged suspicious approaches during the tournament. A couple of coaches have also been implicated.
The owner of a franchise, which finished in the bottom half of the table this season, is also being probed. The police got a tip-off while probing the suicide of one of the team owners, former cricketer and national selector VB Chandrasekhar, last month.
The BCCI’s ACU then launched an inquiry and the players’ approaches came to light.
Not just the TNPL, the ICC’s ACU doesn’t interfere in the cash-rich Indian Premier League as well. The BCCI’s ACU has been in charge of monitoring the IPL since last year. The BCCI had hired the services of the ICC’s ACU for earlier editions of the IPL and accordingly paid them.
Several theories are doing the rounds for the spread of the menace in the state leagues.
“An owner invests several crores to buy a team but there’s not much income these days because of a faltering economy. Some use the match-fixing bait to gain quick money. Remember not all have the passion to buy a team for the love of the game, some use it as a business project,” an official said.
In recent times, the Euro T20 Slam and the Afghan League have ceased to continue because of financial constraints. There have also been calls to abolish the state-association-run leagues.
The BCCI though is taking a wait-and-watch policy.
“The TNPL has formed a committee to look into the allegations. We cannot assume things. Let the report come out and we will act accordingly,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri said.