New Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday said it is continuing its investigation into a private Twenty20 league held in the United Arab Emirates, saying there was “strong evidence” to suggest it was a corrupt event. The Ajman T20 All-Stars league had been slated for a five-match series across three days in late January. It was not sanctioned by either the local Ajman Cricket Council, the Emirates Cricket Board or the ICC. Also Read - Virat Kohli Finishes Second After Imran Khan in ICC Twitter Poll For Cricketers Who Excelled With Captaincy Duties

The ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) suspected foul play when footage of some bizarre dismissals went viral — including batsmen running past deliveries to be easily stumped and running between wickets that resulted in several run outs. Also Read - ICC Test Rankings: Virat Kohli Pushed to Third Spot by Steve Smith, Cheteshwar Pujara Moves up to 8th

ICC’s ACU general manager Alex Marshall said after speaking to a number of people involved, there was strong evidence to indicate it was a corrupt event. Also Read - 'Fitting Birthday Gift For Rahul Dravid' - Former Stars Hail India on Twitter After Epic Sydney Draw

“The event was not approved or in any way sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and therefore neither the ECB nor the ICC has authority to take action under cricket’s anti-corruption rules against anybody who may have engaged in any corrupt practice,” Marshall said.

“However after speaking to a number of those involved we consider there to be strong evidence to indicate this was a corrupt event and damaging to the wider reputation of cricket and as such will continue the investigation.

“Our ongoing enquiries will now focus on identifying the organisers of the tournament to prevent similar incidents occurring elsewhere and to disrupt corrupt practices wherever we can.

“In addition, all Member Boards whose players have participated in this event will be asked to consider whether by doing so those players are in breach of any other applicable rules, including those that prohibit participation in unsanctioned cricket, and if so for disciplinary action to be taken against them,” he added.

Tainted former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, who was banned from cricket for five years following the Lord’s spot fixing scandal of 2010, was one of the cricketers to play two matches in the tournament.

(With IANS inputs)