The Indian bribery scandal May 16, 2004

Kale breaks down during enquiry

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Abhijit Kale: at the center of a storm © Cricinfo

Abhijit Kale, the batsman from Mahatrashtra, who was accused of bribing two India selectors to get himself selected to the national team, reportedly broke down and cried as witnesses testified against him in a marathon meeting of the Indian board's disciplinary committee. The meeting, which lasted almost nine hours, was held to probe allegations that Kale had tried to bribe Kiran More and Pranob Roy, for a place on India's tour to Australia last winter.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, the board president, said that the committee would announce its final decision in a week's time, since Kamal Morarka, a member of the committee, was absent from the proceedings due to personal reasons. But to assuage the fears of those who might claim that these investigations have already taken long enough, Dalmiya said, "The hearing has been concluded, and there will be no further hearing."

Both More and Roy produced witnesses to back up their allegations. Rajiv Gupta, a friend of Roy from Mumbai, testified that he was present at Mumbai's domestic airport when Kale tried to bribe Roy. More's witness, meanwhile, was his wife, Raavi, who related that Kale's parents had visited her residence in Vadodara. "They told me to tell Kiran to select Abhijit," she said, "[or] else he will commit suicide."

Kale, who had been given a chance to cross-examine the witnesses, later said: "I am satisfied with what happened today. I am still confident that I will come out clean."