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T20 qualifier has enough storms

Posted in Featured, Sports

Published on July 24, 2015 with No Comments

The World Twenty20 Qualifier, currently underway in Ireland and Scotland, continues to make news for all the wrong reasons. Only a few days ago, it surfaced that the physio of the Nepal team was arrested for sexual assault on a masseuse in Belfast; and now the International Cricket Council (ICC) will investigate a play-off match between Afghanistan and Hong Kong.

It is learnt that the ICC has seen a strange pattern of bowling by the Afghan team which lost the match to hand over a qualifying berth to Hong Kong in the World Twenty20 in India next year. “If it needs to be under scanner, it will be under scanner. We can’t talk about it. It was noticed that the Afghan bowlers were bowling full-tosses,“ an official told media. Defending 161, Afghanistan, who were the favourites to win the game, lost by five wickets, with the victory runs coming off the last ball. The Afghan team had qualified for the World Cup in Australia and New Zeal and earlier in the year and had also participated in the Asia Cup last year.

The Afghanistan team management has expressed ignorance of being put under the anti-corruption purview. “We’re not aware of any such development and the ICC has not communicated to us,“ team manager Shir Agha Hamkar told a daily from England. Reacting on full tosses, Hamkar said there could be nothing suspicious in it. “That does not prove anything. We’re in the midst of an important tournament and we would not like to be distracted by any controversies,“ the team official said. Hong Kong needed 16 off the last over and they managed to score the runs, although they lost two wickets in the process. The second and third balls were hit for a four and a six. A report in a cricket website said unusual betting patterns during the game have raised the eyebrows of ICC sleuths.


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