Fixing allegations surface in TNPL

The TNCA, stung by the allegations, has constituted a panel to look into the charges. The committee includes former cricketers such as L. Sivaramakrishnan.

The TNPL has come under the scrutiny of the ACU.   -  TNCA

There are serious questions being asked about the Tamil Nadu Premier League. And they travel to the heart of the competition itself.

Is the league clean? Or, are some cricketers dirty? Have there been any instances of match or spot-fixing in this Twenty20 competition last season?

Right now there is an investigation by the BCCI’s Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) to probe into the allegations. Apparently, the ACU has some evidence on a few players and coaches but it remains to be seen if that would be enough to nail them.

The TNCA, stung by the allegations, has constituted a panel to look into the charges. The committee includes former cricketers such as L. Sivaramakrishnan.

And P.S. Raman, chairman, TNPL governing council, said the tournament had zero tolerance towards corruption in the game.

READ| BCCI files FIR for match-fixing approach to women's international

Full-blown crisis

Right from the first year of TNPL, in 2016, there have been reports of attempts made by some bookies to infiltrate the league. Now, the issue has developed into a full-blown crisis for the TNPL.

Allegations, in particular, have been made against a First Class batsman with a penchant for attacking cricket, a top-order southpaw with loads of experience, and a coach who was a fine left-hander in his time. A couple of lesser-known coaches, one without any First Class experience, are also under a cloud.

At this moment, these are nothing more than allegations. The ACU needs to meticulously collect evidence, if there are any, and build a case against them. It is also possible that these men are innocent and victims of circumstances. Time will tell.

READ| ICC grills Mansoor Akhtar over alleged spot-fixing charges

A franchise, with a questionable ownership pattern and rather dubious selection of its eleven for the various games, is under the microscope too. The side has fallen into bad days after a rousing beginning.

While the security at the TNPL venues during the games is tight — there are four ACU officers present — many are of the view that that the access to the players in the low key hotels in the districts is rather easy. It is here that some dubious deals, potentially, could be done. There is thus a need for tight security at the hotels. Right now, they are porous.

Some cricketers have been approached through WhatsApp messages. And many of them have been reported by the cricketers to the ACU.

Increased fees

There is also an urgent need for the TNCA to increase the fee to the cricketers in the TNPL. Right now, an international cricketers receives only ₹5 lakh for the entire tournament and the others get progressively less.

And the TNCA has to find a better revenue-sharing model for the TNPL so that the franchises do not lose money and resort to desperate measures.