The threat of being a one-year wonder looms large on the Afghanistan Premier League. The future looks bleak as the 2019 edition of the franchisee-based, professional T20 competition has been deferred due to payment issues.
Chief investors Snixer Sports have failed to pay the complete rights fees for the inaugural season of the tournament held in 2018. Afghanistan Cricket Board has claimed that their rights to organise the league have been withdrawn.ACB will float a fresh RFP for the commercial rights of the league. Only after a new partner comes on board, the league shall resume.
“The failure by Snixer Sports to pay the complete rights fees of the first edition as per the fees and payment schedule of the agreement, and concerns about risks for integrity of the league posed by people connected to Snixer Sports are the reasons for termination that form material breaches of the agreement,” the ACB said in a statement.
The board also added that it had written to the Attorney General’s Office of the Government of Afghanistan to “fully investigate the administrative allegations of corruption in the league” and that it remained committed to “ensuring transparency in all its affairs and is accountable to all stakeholders.”A tender for the commercial rights of the second season will be issued in due course.
The inaugural edition of Afghanistan Premier League was held in Sharjah last October. Top cricketers like Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi had featured in the inaugural season of the Afghanistan league.
The APL is the second T20 league to run into problems in as many months. In August, the inaugural season of the Euro T20 Slam was postponed indefinitely, only two weeks prior to its scheduled start.
Earlier this week, Cricket Sri Lanka had shelved its franchisee-based league to replace it with Cricket Australia’s Big Bash league-like model.
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