21 Mar

A New Delhi based company Snixer Sports is suing the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) for US$15 million in the London Court of International Arbitration. The suit is for damages after the termination by the ACB last September of a Commercial Rights contract to organize the Afghanistan Premier League (APL). Snixer Sports, acquired the rights in 2018, but last year the ACB terminated its rights agreement and postponed the T20 Premier League until 2020. The ACB has argued that Snixer had failed to pay the full rights fee for the inaugural October 2018 edition of the competition and added that there were “concerns about risks for the integrity of the league posed by people connected to Snixer Sports.” According to the Times of India.one of the Directors of the company is understood to be Abhishek Anilkumar Agarwal who has been arrested for export fraud. The ACB last year stated it had written to the Afghan Attorney General’s Office asking it to investigate allegations of corruption in the ACB T20 Premier League. In September last year, wicketkeeper Mohammed Shahzad reported an approach by two spot fixers in connection with the first edition of the ACB T20 Premier League to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

In a statement the ACB announced it “will respond to the Arbitration case from a position of strength and cooperate fully with London Court of International Arbitration in light of legal provisions in the Commercial Rights Agreement with Snixer Sports.” Snixer Sports refutes the ACB’s reasons for terminating the contact.  A Snixer Sports official said: “We were left with no option but to resort to legal remedies against the biased and illegal conduct of ACB.” The official said: “Each franchisee spends close to $1.5 million per team and with 5 teams it comes to $7.5 million. Around 2 million will be spent by promoters every season to sustain the league.” Despite facing losses of over $3 million in the inaugural season, Snixer Sports claimed clearing 100 percent market payments in 60 days of the league commencement. The official believed the ACB had no justification for cancelling the investment, especially when the board was a partner in the venture without having the home market advantage. The official said the wanted to place it on record that there had been no material breach by Snixer Sports. The allegations about the questionable integrity of ICC and ACU are defamatory, the source insisted.

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