Contrary to claims made by sports broadcaster Nimbus that it walked out of the upcoming Afro-Asia Cup cricket series, the Asian Cricket Council on Thursday said it scrapped the deal with the channel because it did "not fulfill contractual obligations".
Consequently, the ACC awarded the telecast rights for this year's Afro-Asia Cup, to be held in India next month, to ESPN-Star Sports.
"They (Nimbus) did not fulfill their contractual obligations... but it is always painful to terminate contracts," ACC CEO Syed Ashraful Huq said over phone from Kuala Lumpur.
Asked to explain the details of its contract with Nimbus, he declined to comment, citing a confidentiality clause. He also did not reveal the financial details of ACC's new deal with ESS.
On Wednesday, Nimbus had said that it will not be part of the event, from June 6 to 10 in Bangalore and Chennai.
"We will not be telecasting the event. Neither will we be producing nor bringing sponsorship for the matches," Nimbus chief Harish Thawani said.
The tournament lost its sheen due to the pull-out of big stars and industry insiders say this could be one of the reasons for Nimbus' loss of interest in the event.
Huq, however, flatly denied the claim and said the ACC is aiming for much higher viewership through its new partner, ESS.
"I don't think this is the case. You cannot force players to play. In the last edition, Rahul (Dravid) and Sachin Tendulkar did not play but the tournament was still a success," he said.