New Delhi: A T20 match played near Chandigarh but streamed online as a game in Sri Lanka has caught the attention of BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit, the Punjab Police and the island country's cricket board, which has rejected any involvement and vowed to take legal action.
The 'Indian Express' reported on Friday that the game played on 29 June took place in Sawara village, 16 km from Chandigarh, but was streamed as a 'Uva T20 League' match in Sri Lanka's Badulla city, home of the Uva Province Cricket Association.
While Punjab Police officials said an investigation is currently on to ascertain if a betting syndicate was involved, the BCCI asserted that it is keeping an eye, but only to the extent of getting details of those involved. The SLC, on the other hand, denied having any knowledge of the match ever being planned in Sri Lanka.
"Our process is on. When we will know about the people involved, we will update our database. We would like to know who was involved. However, only police can take action on this. As a BCCI enforcement agency, we have no jurisdiction over it," BCCI anti-corruption chief Ajit Singh told PTI.
"If it was a BCCI approved league or had players' participation, we could have taken action against them. If this is done for the purpose of betting, it is a criminal offence and police has the jurisdiction over, we don't," he added.
In a statement, Sri Lanka Cricket said "neither SLC nor its affiliates have any knowledge or any involvement with a fantasy tournament staged by an undisclosed party under the name and title of 'Uva Premier League T20'.
"It was noted that several Indian websites have even advertised a scoreboard on June 29 stating that the Uva Premier League T20 is being played at the Badulla Stadium, but SLC wishes to confirm that no such tournament was taking place and or will be held in Sri Lanka," the statement.
SLC CEO Ashley De Silva said he directed the Anti-corruption officer to look into the matter.
"As such, SLC wishes to clarify that the said tournament is neither sanctioned by SLC nor organised by any of its affiliates and therefore, SLC assumes no responsibility with regard to the said tournament," the statement from the Lankan Board read.
The SLC said it "has resorted to taking appropriate legal actions to prevent such incidents."
Bhagiradhan Balachandran, assistant secretary of the Uva Province Cricket Association in Sri Lanka, said somebody took advantage of their inactivity.
"...no such tournament was approved or held by our association. We are investigating this matter and are in discussion with Sri Lanka Cricket," Bhagiradhan told PTI from Badulla.
"The whole thing seems like a farce. We are not the most active cricket association in Sri Lanka, so somebody did proper research on that and used our name. We have no idea about this and no Sri Lankan players were involved," he added.
An investigation is in progress, said Mohali's Senior Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Singh Chahal
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kharar Pal Singh said they had received an online complaint about the game following which two persons identified as Pankaj Jain and Raju were arrested on Thursday night.
"A case under Section 420 IPC (cheating) has been registered by the police. As per preliminary investigations, betting could be going on in the match which was held. Further investigations into the case are under progress," Chahal told PTI.
Asked about the match going ahead despite the COVID-19 lockdown, Chahal said, "All this is being investigated, that is why we have registered a case."
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