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Aadil Alam’s rise, fall, and hopeful return: CAN to decide his fate

Aadil Alam has been a trending and popular topic among Nepal cricket fans for quite some time. Currently, he is under suspension by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN).

His future in Nepal cricket will be determined in a few days. Alam was arrested by the Nepal Police’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) in January 2023, on the charge of spot-fixing in the Nepal T20 League. In March, Alam was cleared of accusations of spot-fixing during the Nepal T20 League 2022/23, citing insufficient evidence.

During CAN’s central committee meeting on July 4, it was decided that the organization’s disciplinary committee would be responsible for making the necessary decision regarding his suspension within a week. It is highly likely that his suspension will be revoked now that he has received a clean chit from the court.

The RISE and FALL of Aadil Alam:

Alam, hailing from Kalaiya, Bara, is an allrounder. He bowls medium pace and is a powerful batter who excels in a finishing role. After several successful outings with Madhesh Province in domestic cricket, Alam caught the selectors’ attention. Soon after, Alam was called in the Nepalese side as well.

Dream Debut:

There’s hardly anyone in Nepal cricket who has had as successful debut as Alam in both ODI and T20I matches. He made his T20I debut against Papua New Guinea (PNG) in March 2022, followed by his first ODI match in June.

In his debut T20I, Alam impressed everyone with his power-hitting skills, scoring a quick 31 runs off just 11 balls with three big sixes. Similarly, in his first ODI against USA in Pearland, he showcased a brilliant all-around performance, scoring 36 runs from 24 balls and taking three wickets.

Aadil Ansari and Sandeep Lamichhane
Aadil Alam receives ODI debut cap from Sandeep Lamichhane

Career:

Aadil was evolving into a promising all-rounder. He has featured in six ODIs (70 runs and six wickets) and eight T20Is (110 runs and five wickets) for Nepal. He was regarded as a valuable asset because of his role as a fast-bowling all-rounder and a finisher capable of playing impactful, aggressive innings. However, he was banned from the national team and domestic cricket due to an accusation of involvement in fixing.

Fixing scandal:

The inaugural edition of the Nepal T20 League became controversial throughout the tournament with the suspect of spot and match-fixing. After the investigation by Nepal Police’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), Aadil Alam was arrested on the charge of spot-fixing during the same League. Nepal’s former star allrounder Mehboob Alam was also arrested under suspicion of his involvement in fixing, staying in India.

Alam played for Janakpur Royals. His big no-ball was negatively famous throughout the tournament. He was approached by Mehboob to bowl one no-ball and one wide during a match. Aadil did that in at least two games, says the CIB source. According to the rules, a player must report to the Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) if he gets approached for the fixing.

During one post-match presentation, Aadil mentioned that he was not fully fit. Meanwhile, during the investigation, Alam admitted to the accusation of spot-fixing over him.

Case court and clearance of charges:

Aadil was arrested from Rajbiraj by Saptari Police on January 23, 2023. After one month in Jail, he along with Mehboob was released on three lakh bail on February 23. The case’s legal proceedings were still in progress in the court

On March 25, 2024, Aadil was cleared of accusations of spot-fixing during the Nepal T20 League 2022/23, citing a lack of sufficient evidence. A solitary bench presided over by Kathmandu District Court Judge Kamal Prasad Pokharel ruled that Aadil Alam, Mehboob Alam, and the other three arrested were cleared of spot-fixing charges.

During the investigation, the CIB named 12 suspects and forwarded them to the Kathmandu Public Prosecutor’s Office. However, charges were only filed against 5 individuals, while two people absconded. Others were not charged because their whereabouts were unknown.

What next for Aadil?

Aadil received a clean chit from the court. However, he has not yet been cleared by CAN, which is mandatory to pave the way for him to make a comeback to domestic cricket and the national team.

In a few days, CAN’s disciplinary committee will decide on his case. If the outcome is positive, his suspension will be lifted, making him eligible to play in domestic leagues and potentially return to the national team (in case of good performance). However, if the decision remains unchanged, it could be the end of Aadil’s cricketing career…