Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) of Board of Control for Cricket in India has blocked illegal NCR League featuring Virat Kohli’s image which was initially supposed to start from August 11. NCR Cricket League featured Virat Kohli’s image for promoting their league but was blocked for not having proper approval and using Indian captain Virat Kohli’s image for promotion.
NCR Cricket League was supposed to be held in Uttar Pradesh where the organisers also invited cricket fans to make teams on Mobile Premier League which is a fantasy platform promoted by Delhi-born Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Several illegal cricket leagues have been on the rise in different parts of the country mainly taking advantage of the Covid 19 pandemic scenario in India.
The league has finally been blocked by BCCI’s Anti Corruption Unit intercepting them before team selection and advised players not to participate in the league.
ACU of BCCI Bans NCR Before Team Selection
The organisers planned to stream the matches beginning from August 11 live in YouTube platform. The organiser is based in New Delhi and both Indian and Ranji players were invited for participation.
“We intercepted them at the stage of team selections. We sent out an advisory to all our registered players not to participate,” BCCI ACU head Ajit Singh was quoted as saying by HT.
Anti Corruption unit head Ajit Singh added that the board only intervened when their contracted players participate, not when street cricketers participate.
ACU Only Intervenes When Registered Players Participate In Illegal Leagues
The NCR cricket league’s social page has videos of player auctions with cricketers across six teams going for a few thousand rupees in money was held over snacks and tea in a small hall. The league is said to have been postponed, pending permission from the local administration. Initially, they claimed to get permission from Uttar Pradesh cricket association.
“If they get our registered players and they get exposed to corruption at an elementary stage, it is not good for their careers or the game,” says Singh. “But if someone stages cricket with mohalla (street) cricketers, we can’t do anything.”
However, last year Hapur Premier League was promoted as the biggest league in Uttar Pradesh and Virat Kohli’s image was also used to promote by the same organisers of the NCR cricket league.
The same organisers put out videos of ‘Hapur Premier League’, held earlier this year, and promoted using the images of Virat Kohli and the MPL brand and was advertised as ‘the biggest tournament held in Uttar Pradesh’. MPL denied having any contracts with the league according to a spokesman.
With the fantasy gaming industry flourishing daily, officials want tighter regulation.
Each leading platform has popular Indian cricketers as brand ambassadors, who are often unsure which leagues use their image. Recently Fan Code who are Dream Code’s streaming website came under scrutiny for tying up with Uva league, which was a dubious one. Fan Code became an aggrieved party and the police are investigating the case.