T10 league organisers distance themselves from Deepak Agarwal after two-year ban

League says Agarwal was removed as co-owner of defunct Sindhis team on ICC advice

Sport is more susceptible to match-fixing due to the financial constraints caused by the coronavirus paandemic, experts warn. Satish Kumar / The National
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Organisers of the T10 league have moved to distance themselves from cricket’s latest corruption issue.

On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Deepak Agarwal had been banned by the ICC for two years for breaching the sport’s anti-corruption code.

The ICC statement said that the Indian businessman had been charged as a “participant” in cricket “due to the fact he was one of the team owners of the Sindhis franchise in the 2018 T10 Cricket League”.

However, the management of the UAE-based 10-over competition are disappointed the league has been mentioned in relation to what they feel was a separate issue.

They say Agarwal was removed as co-owner of the Sindhis team after a matter of days, and before the competition started, based on ICC advice to them at the time.

Since the league’s inception in 2017, the ICC’s anti-corruption unit have been engaged to oversee the competition.

“We wish to clarify that Deepak Agarwal was initially proposed as one of the owners for Team Sindhis for the 2018 season,” T-Ten Sports management said.

“As part of our standard operating procedure, and our close cooperation with ICC, we always seek the clearance of all team owners from the ICC anti-corruption unit.

“The clearance from ICC was not granted and we promptly took action to remove Deepak Agarwal from the ownership of the team before the start of the league.”

Agarwal was named as the corrupter in the investigation that eventually saw Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan banned from the game last year.

“We also wish to clarify that the ban imposed by ICC on Deepak Agarwal has nothing to do with any activity related to the T10 league,” the league said.

“We at T-Ten Sports Management have a zero-tolerance policy towards any individuals who breach the code of conduct.

“We continue to work closely with the ICC anti-corruption unit to uphold the integrity of the game of cricket.”

The Sindhis franchise itself is no longer part of the league, which was relocated to Abu Dhabi for the 2019 season after two years in Sharjah.

Agarwal was charged with “obstructing or delaying an investigation, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.”

The charge was not in relation to the T10 league.

He has been banned from all cricket for two years, with six months of that suspended, after accepting an agreed sanction rather than taking the process to tribunal.

Alex Marshall, the ICC's general manager of integrity, said Agarwal was now providing “substantial assistance” to the ACU on other investigations.

“There were a number of examples of Mr Agarwal obstructing and delaying our investigations and it was not just a one off occurrence,” Marshall said.

“However, he made a prompt admission of his breach of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code and continues to provide substantial assistance to the ACU in relation to several investigations involving other participants. This cooperation is reflected in his sanction.”