Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Credits: BCCI)

BCCI Anti-corruption Unit (ACU) has blocked a local cricket league in Uttar Pradesh after it used India skipper Virat Kohli’s image for promotion. As per a report in Hindustan Times, the ‘NCR Cricket League’, organised by NCR Cricket Association, has been unauthorised by the BCCI.

The local tournament was scheduled to begin on August 11 and streamed on YouTube, which could have aided illegal betting. Confirming the news, BCCI ACU chief Ajit Singh said his team blocked the tournament during the team selection stage. He also said that BCCI’s registered players have been told not to participate in the tournament.

Virat Kohli
The league used Virat Kohli’s image for promotion(Credits: ESPNCricinfo)

“We intercepted them at the stage of team selections. We sent out an advisory to all our registered players not to participate,” Singh told Hindustan Times.

“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. But if someone stages cricket with mohalla (street) cricketers, we can’t do anything.

“Initially, they claimed to have Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association’s permission,” the ACU chief said.

The UPCA too had denied permission, calling on local registered players in the state to avoid the tournament. The league had asked participants to make teams on Mobile Premier League, a fantasy cricket site that the Indian captain promotes. MPL has denied association with any such leagues.

Not very long ago, police in Mohali had arrested bookies for organising ‘the Uva Premier T20 league’. The tournament was advertised as happening in Badulla in Sri Lanka but was in fact happening in the outskirts of Mohali with local Punjab players instead of Sri Lankans.

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. Later, Maharoof clarified on Twitter than he had no part to play in it.

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