When Sri Lanka’s UVA T20 League started, fans thought it’s a good move amid the ongoing pandemic which has stopped all cricketing action. However, after the first two matches, the T20 tournament was called off by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Now, it’s again in the news but for a bizarre reason which might shock the fans. It has been revealed that the matches of UVA T20 league were played near Mohali in India’s Chandigarh.
Furthermore, no Sri Lankan players took part in those games; instead, some unknown players from Punjab played the matches. Before the beginning of the tournament, it was blazoned as if the league will take place in Sri Lanka and the likes of Farveez Maharoof, Ajantha Mendis, Dasun Shanaka and Tillakaratne Dilshan were supposed to play. But, a few days ago, Maharoof had cleared all the doubts when he tweeted that it was a piece of fake news.
The SLC also reacted to the incident and denied that no such tournament happened in Sri Lanka.
“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 read.
As per The Indian Express, the tournament kicked-off on June 29 but the matches took place in Siwara Village 16 km from Chandigarh off Punjab State Highway 12A. The report stated that few local players from Punjab played against each other wearing masks.
Another revelation that the matches were streamed by FanCode, whose parent company is Dream Sports – a popular fantasy sports platform of Dream 11, which happens to be one of the sponsors of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The report even quoted a FanCode spokesperson as saying: “We were in touch with the organisers who provided us with the Letter of Sanction from Uva Province Cricket Association along with an email from the official email ID of Sri Lanka Cricket that provided confirmation of the tournament.”
According to the same report, the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit has urged the police to investigate the matter.
“As far as we know, no BCCI-registered player has played in it. If it is done for betting, it is for the police to investigate. It is a criminal offence under the laws against betting. It could be anything; they could even be showing footage of an old match. It is a matter of finding out where it happened, who organised it, what was the purpose… apparently, it is betting,” said BCCI’s Anti-Corruption head Ajit Singh.
Police in the Kharar district of Punjab is now investigating the matter.