Ajman: Ajman Cricket Council cracked the whip on unauthorised tournaments and suspended the accreditation granted to the Ajman Oval ground following reports of the venue hosting a number of such events.
The International Cricket Council’s Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) says it has commenced investigations into one such tournament held at the Ajman Oval ground. Following the development, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) too announced that the concerned tournament did not have their prior approval.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shaji Ul Mulk, the secretary of Ajman Cricket Council, said: “Hereafter, any tournament conducted at the Ajman Oval ground would be disapproved and cricketers playing in them would be at a risk of being penalised.”
The ground had hosted an ‘All Star T20 tournament,’ which was being telecast live in India and other countries without due approval from the Ajman Cricket Council.
“The current tournament called All Star T20 being telecast live in India and other countries on Neo Sports and involving international cricketers like Salman Butt and Hassan Raza had been declared disapproved as it is without any approval. The other tournaments under investigation are Gargash Premier League, Batkal League, MB Premier League, Zalmi Cricket League, Emirates Cricket League, Agha Khan Community League, Chaturvedi Community League and Unilog Super League, which do not have Ajman Cricket Council’s approval,” added Ul Mulk.
Meanwhile, the ICC, in a statement from it’s General Manager, Anti-Corruption, Alex Marshall, announced: “There is currently an ICC Anti Corruption Unit [ACU] investigation under way in relation to the Ajman All Stars League held recently in Ajman, UAE. The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit works to uphold integrity in cricket and in keeping with that role we are talking to players and officials and will not make any further comment at this time.”
Elaborating on the decision to suspend matches at the Ajman Oval, Ul Mulk said: “It was notified by Ajman Cricket Authorities that in spite of many reminders, the Ajman Oval is conducting tournaments without obtaining approvals of our council or ECB. Recently, ICC had declared the upcoming Global Zalmi league as disapproved cricket due to lack of approval. The organisers are now in the process of regulating this approval through Ajman Cricket Council and Emirates cricket Board. We do not tolerate disapproved tournaments and hence are forced to suspend the accreditation of Ajman Oval. All cricket councils in UAE has been informed about the disapproved cricket and players asked not to participate in such disapproved tournaments.”
Zayed Abbas, the ECB spokesperson, said: “The ECB is aware that the ICC’s ACU is currently investigating the All Stars T20 Ajman that took place in Ajman recently. The ECB can confirm that it did not approve the staging of this tournament, and has advised the ICC accordingly.”
When Gulf News contacted the Oval ground authorities, a spokesperson said: “We don’t want to have anything to do with Ajman Council and we will directly contact ECB. However, despite many attempts, we could not get through to ECB officials.”
When contacted again following the ICC statement, the spokesperson said: “We are seeking clarification from ECB and will revert as soon as we get a reply from ECB.”