ICC Champions Trophy 2006 August 30, 2006

Gibbs and Boje available for Champions Trophy

Cricinfo staff

Will Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje be seen in action in India? © AFP

South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje have both made themselves available for selection to play in the Champions Trophy in India in October and November.

Gibbs and Boje have avoided touring India since 2000, as they have failed to obtain any assurance from India that they will not be detained by the police with regards to questioning on the match-fixing scandal.

Gerald Majola, the board's chief executive, said: "Herschelle and Nicky have confirmed that they will go to India if selected and that they will co-operate fully with any interviews which the Indian Police may wish to hold with them.

"Cricket South Africa will now put forward their names to the selection panel and support them in need, which we hope will assist in the investigation, in order to minimise any disruption to the team's training and playing programme. Their lawyers will also be available to take appropriate steps to protect all of their rights."

Gibbs had earlier confirmed his desire to travel to India but had inflamed the situation with criticisms of the Indian authorities.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated in South Africa, Gibbs told features editor Mark van Dijk: "Ja, I am going to go. But my lawyer's coming with me. I've put forward a proposal to Cricket South Africa, which was discussed on Thursday. I've proposed that my lawyer and I will travel with the team, and once we get to the hotel, they can then do the questioning at the hotel.

"I've got the 18 questions that they want to ask me. It's basically exactly the same stuff that I answered at the King Commission. I'll just be repeating myself."

Gibbs claimed that the delays were all at the Indian end: "They haven't really played their part," he shrugged. "You know, we've asked them many a time to come question me on neutral territory, and they refuse. So it's not like I haven't made the effort. It's them being hard-arses. That's it."

However, KK Paul, the Delhi Police commissioner, rebutted the claim. "I haven't received any such communication," he told Cricinfo. "If he has to say anything, let him communicate through the board. So far, I haven't received any such offers from the board or from him." Gibbs responded later on Thursday in a statement issued via Cricket South Africa in a placatory manner: "I recognise that the police have their processes to follow and I am sorry if it has appeared that I was critical of these. I think whatever I said may have been taken out of context. I'm now really looking forward to representing my country in India at the ICC Champions Trophy."

Tony Irish, the chief executive of the South African Cricketers Association, added: "Over the last five or six years there was uncertainty about a number of things. Legal advice obtained by Herschelle and Nicky has understandably been cautious. I think however, that the players' great desire to play cricket in India again and to participate in this ICC Champions Trophy has overtaken everything else."