Illegal cricket league featuring Virat Kohli’s image blocked by BCCI

Image Courtesy: PTI/Hindustan TImes

The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has blocked an unauthorised local cricket league in Uttar Pradesh termed ‘NCR Cricket League’, which was also using Virat Kohli’s image for promotion.

Image Courtesy: PTI/Hindustan TImes

The iconic Virat Kohli has become a posterboy of the Indian cricket scene. Have an image of him anywhere and its bound to get noticed by millions. This was exactly what the NCR Cricket Association planned, as they used the Indian skipper’s image to promote their ‘NCR Cricket League’, an unauthorised tournament in Uttar Pradesh.

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The organisers used Kohli’s image from the mobile e-Sports platform ‘Mobile Premier League’ (MPL) which the player himself promotes, and invited participants to make their teams on MPL. The local tournament was set up to begin on 11th August and was also planned to be streamed on YouTube.

BCCI blocks unauthorised NCR Cricket League using Virat Kohli imagery

The NCR Cricket League’s Facebook page which used Virat Kohli’s MPL imagery. (Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times)

The NCR Cricket League, which was said to be operated by someone from Delhi, used Virat Kohli’s MPL imagery to invite participants to the virtual gaming platform.

The BCCI’s Anti-corruption Unit (ACU) had blocked the illegal tournament, which posed a risk for enabling illegal online betting. The ACU chief Ajit Singh confirmed such in an interview. However, there are a number of legitimate Indian sports wager sites available at your disposal.

“We intercepted them at the stage of team selections. We sent out an advisory to all our registered players not to participate,” Singh said in an interview with Hindustan Times.

“If they get our registered players and they get exposed to corruption at an elementary stage, it is not good for their careers or the game. But if someone stages cricket with mohalla (street) cricketers, we can’t do anything,” the ACU chief added.

It was further reported that the league had taken permission from the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA). However, the UPCA has denied the claim, and they also advised any locally registered players to not be part of it.

The league’s social media page, which reported “Postpone till local administration permission”, had shared some videos, where cricketers were being auctioned for a few thousand bucks over six teams.

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