Afghanistan Premier League 2019 postponed due to Payment Issues
- Updated: September 23, 2019
The commercial partner of the Afghanistan Premier League has failed to pay the money for rights to the ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) and this has led to the postponement of the second season of the league. The league was expected to be held in October 2019 although it has been postponed to next year since the agreement now stands terminated with the partner on ACB’s part. The cricket board has also expressed its concerns pertaining to the integrity of individuals associated with the partners, Snixer Sports.
As per the official statement of the cricket board, Snixer Sports failed to clear full rights payments for the league’s first edition as laid down clearly in the agreement as per the payment and fees schedules. There were also concerns relating to the integrity of individuals in the league or people linked to Snixer Sports. The gravity of the second allegation can hardly be overlooked since there were rumors galore in the first edition of the league as well.
For instance, the wicket-keeper and batsman from Afghanistan, Mohammad Shahzad, was approached for spot-fixing. The offer was given to him for not playing well in the first edition of the Afghan Premier League T20 tournament. This offer came during the Asia Cup and the above mentioned tournament was expected to take place from October 5th to 21st in Sharjah. He immediately disclosed this offer to the management and authorities post which protocols were stringently implemented in order to notify the anti-corruption unit of the International Cricket Council or ICC.
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An application has been dispatched to the Attorney General’s Office, Government of Afghanistan by the ACB with a plea to closely examine the aspects regarding corruption factors in the league. Along with an investigation plea, the ACB has also confirmed its total commitment towards infusing more transparency in all its dealings along with full accountability for stakeholders. The MoU of the tournament was inked in January 2018 and the first edition was played between the 5th and 21st of October, 2019, at Sharjah. There were several top global players featuring in the edition which had 5 franchises including Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Andre Russell and Rashid Khan who were the icon players for their franchises like Kabul, Paktia, Nangarhar, Balkh and Kandahar.
A tender will ultimately be released for the second edition’s commercial rights. This is the second T20 Cricket League to have been surrounded with multiple controversies in recent times. The month of August 2019 saw the first season of Euro T20 Slam being called off only 2 weeks prior to the commencement date. The organizers, namely Wood Entertainment and Gurmeet Singh owned Bombay Sports Limited, faced financial issues leading to the event being called off. The same group holds charge for the Global T20 Canada and this event too saw its fair share of issues relating to protests over unpaid wages of players.