Nepal’s first-ever official franchise cricket T20 League under scrutiny for match-fixing claims

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The first-ever official T20 cricket tournament in Nepal, hosted by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), has been marred by scandal after former national cricket captain Gyanendra Malla revealed on Tuesday that one of his teammates had been approached with a match-fixing plan.

Malla, also the captain of Kathmandu Knights, said, “We have already reported it to the International Cricket Council’s] Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). But getting a proposal and accepting it are two different things. It is not necessary that everyone will accept a match-fixing proposal. We have reported it to the ACU and are monitoring it.”

According to The Kathmandu Post, seven to eight Nepalese players have reportedly informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) of match-fixing proposals, according to an ACU source in the ICC.

“Some Nepali players have reported to us. We have even collected some evidence of fixing by foreign players and officials and have already sent them to the ICC,” the source added.

Along with Malla, one of the tournament’s official commentators, Sachin Timalsena, also disclosed via a Facebook post that he had observed strange activity while serving as a commentator and closely monitoring the games.

Timalsena said, “I saw many surprising and unnatural incidents on the pitch and cricket being used for wrong motives. I saw some low-profile overseas players being assigned as captains instead of the big guns. Seeing such unnatural incidents, I also reported them to ACU officer Bir Singh.”

According to DIG and Nepal Police spokesperson Tek Prasad Rai, the Ministry of Home Affairs has also written to the Nepal Police Headquarters requesting that an investigation into the fixing issue be opened.

“The ministry has written to the headquarters, and we are already investigating,” Rai said, adding, “The Central Investigation Bureau has a specialized team to look into incidents like match-fixing and spot-fixing. They are monitoring the tournament closely.”