The Uva Premier T20 league which was supposedly happening in Badulla in Sri Lanka was in fact happening in the outskirts of Mohali with local Punjab players instead of Sri Lankans, according to a report in the Indian Express.
The tournament consisting of four teams – Wellawaya Vipers, Monaragala Hornets, Badulla Sea Eagles and Mahiyanganaya Unilions – was said to involve former cricketers like TM Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Tushara. However, Maharoof clarified on Twitter than he had no part to play in it.
It is suspected that the fake Uva Premier League T20 was conducted by bookies from India and other countries.
This is fake no one has spoken to me or neither I’m interested to speak or to play the tournament. Please don’t give any publicity
— Farveez Maharoof (@farveezmaharoof) June 28, 2020
Sri Lanka Cricket too had not authorized the league, with CEO Ashley De Silva directing the Anti-corruption officer to look into the matter. As things turned out, the games were conducted in Mohali with online streaming on websites largely through long shots.
The Uva Province Cricket Association too denied any involvement.
“I can categorically assure you that no such tournament was approved or held by our association. We are investigating this matter and are in discussion with Sri Lanka Cricket and other relevant authorities,” UPCA assistant secretary Bhagiradhan told Indian Express.
Fancode, which was one of the sites that covered the event, said SLC reached out to them after the first day following which the coverage was stopped.
Meanwhile, the BCCI Anti Corruption Unit chief left it to the Indian police to investigate the issue.
“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,” Ajit Singh told The Indian Express.
Police is currently investigating the matter.