Match Fixing Anniversary

Ten Years After Cronje

A decade's worth of scandal

A ten-year timeline: from the revelations of Cronje's involvement to the recent inquiry into Pakistan's series in Australia

Siddarth Ravindran

July 3, 2010

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Members of the Delhi Youth Congress stand beside a placard denouncing corruption in cricket prior to performing Yagna, a Hindu ritual offering, to ward off the evil of cricket match fixing, near parliament in New Delhi 18 April 2000. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to hold an emergency meeting at Lord's in the next two weeks following a call for action over corruption in the game, after South African skipper Hansie Cronje was sacked for accepting money from an Indian businessman.
When first revealed in 2000, the match-fixing scandal shocked and upset all John Macdougall / © AFP
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The first blow
April 7, 2000 Delhi police charge Hansie Cronje with fixing South Africa's ODIs against India in March for money. They also release transcripts of an alleged conversation between Cronje and an Indian businessman, suggested to be a bookie, Sanjay Chawla. The conversation is about who is playing and who is not, who is in on the "deal", the amount alleged to be paid to Cronje and his team-mates Herschelle Gibbs, Pieter Strydom and Nicky Boje. Cronje denies any involvement in the matter, and the South African board, former players and media rally behind him.

Cronje's denial
April 9, 2000 South Africa's captain continues to stand his ground, saying at a press conference: "I want to make it 100% clear that I deny ever receiving any sum of money during the one-day international series in India. I want to also make it absolutely clear I have never spoken to any member of the team about throwing a game."

Cronje confesses
April 11, 2000 The South African board sacks Cronje after he calls the board's managing director, Ali Bacher, at 3am and admits he "had been dishonest" over his activities in India. Cronje acknowledges receiving $10,000 to 15,000 for "providing information and forecast but not match-fixing" during the one-day series in India.

Dodgy Test investigated
April 12, 2000 The South African board says the controversial fifth Test between South Africa and England in Centurion in January, during which both sides forfeited an innings at Cronje's suggestion, will be investigated as part of the inquiry into match-fixing allegations.

Umpires approached
April 20, 2000 South African umpires Cyril Mitchley and Rudi Koertzen disclose that they were offered money to influence results of matches at different points in their career.

English involvement
April 27, 2000 Three England cricketers are cleared of allegations of match-fixing by an England and Wales Cricket Board inquiry. This follows a newspaper article by former England allrounder Chris Lewis making public allegations by an Indian businessman that three England players had received money for fixing the outcome of matches.

Indian government steps in
April 28, 2000 The Indian government orders the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the match-fixing allegations and to find out whether any Indian cricketer or official was involved.

More offers on the subcontinent
April 30, 2000 The Sunday Times reveals that three Sri Lankan players were approached by Indian bookmakers during the 1992 Australian tour of Sri Lanka. According to the paper, Roshan Mahanama, Asanka Gurusinha and Sanath Jayasuriya were all approached and offered money for information and match forecasting, but the three players refused to cooperate. This is confirmed by the Sri Lankan board.

Australia turns proactive
May 6, 2000 The Australian Cricket Board decides to appoint an independent investigator to examine allegations of match-fixing and bribery but rules out a review of the case of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, who were fined earlier for providing pitch and weather information to bookies on the 1994 tour of Sri Lanka.

The Justice Qayyum report
May 24, 2000 After a year-long inquiry, Pakistan's one-man judicial commission finds former captain Saleem Malik and medium-pacer Ata-ur-Rehman guilty of fixing matches and recommends life bans for the two. The report also says Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed should not be allowed to captain Pakistan in the future. Rehman is reinstated on the official players' list in 2006.

The King Commission enquiry
June 7, 2000 Former South African cricketer Pat Symcox testifies before the King Commission, which is inquiring into the Cronje scandal, that he had been approached by Cronje about "throwing" a match against Pakistan during the 1994-95 season. He also confirms that during a team meeting in Mumbai in 1996, Cronje had conveyed an offer of $250,000 dollars to lose a one-dayer.


Cricketer Herschelle Gibbs listens to the testimony of former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje at the King Commission of Inquiry into allegations of cricket match-fixing in Cape Town 15 June 2000. Gibbs has been suspended from the South African cricket team following his involvement in the scandal.
Gibbs' confession pulled the rug out from under Cronje's defence © AFP
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A damning confession
June 8, 2000 Herschelle Gibbs effectively seals Cronje's fate, confessing he had accepted an offer from his former captain to make less than 20 runs in a one-day match in India earlier in the year in exchange for $15,000.

More South Africans testify
June 9, 2000 Nicky Boje, one of those named in the match-fixing case by the Delhi police, tells the King Commission he was shocked to hear his name linked to the scandal and said Cronje had never approached him with an offer to play badly. Seam bowler Henry Williams testifies that he had been offered $15,000 by Cronje to bowl expensively in a one-day international in India earlier in the year. Pieter Strydom reveals that he had been offered money by Cronje before the first Test against India in Mumbai in February.

Cronje offered immunity
June 10, 2000 After three days of damaging revelations during the King Commission hearings, Cronje is offered immunity from criminal prosecution in South Africa if he makes a full disclosure about his role in match-fixing.

Bacher's accusations
June 12, 2000 Ali Bacher tells the King Commission that he had been told by former Pakistan cricket chief executive Majid Khan that two World Cup matches in 1999, involving Pakistan, against India and Bangladesh were fixed. The claims are rubbished by the cricket boards of all three Asian countries. Bacher also says that an Indian bookmaker had told him that Pakistani umpire Javed Akhtar was "on the payroll" when he made eight crucial decisions against South Africa in their decisive Test against England at Leeds in 1998.

Kallis' testimony
June 13, 2000 Jacques Kallis corroborates evidence by Mark Boucher and Lance Klusener that Cronje had made an offer to the three players in a hotel room before the second Test against India in Bangalore in March 2000.

Cronje accuses Azhar
June 15, 2000 Cronje confesses to taking about $100,000 in bribes from gamblers since 1996, but he claims that he had never thrown or fixed a match. He also announces his retirement from cricket. Cronje tells the King Commission that former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin had introduced him to a bookie who offered him money to throw a 1996 Test match during South Africa's tour of India. Azharuddin calls the allegation "rubbish".

Lara investigated
June 17, 2000 The West Indies team management in England denies allegations that Brian Lara profited from placing bets on individual performances during matches in a tri-series in South Africa in 1993, but decides to investigate the charges a day later. Over a week later, the board says Lara is innocent of any wrongdoing after the bookmaker alleged to have placed Lara's bets signs an affidavit denying any involvement.

Cronje breaks down
June 23, 2000 Cronje is led away in tears after his three-day cross examination by the King Commission ends in Cape Town. He gives evidence clearly and admits that he accepted money from bookmakers and says his "great passion of the game and for my team-mates'' was matched by "an unfortunate love of money".

Paul Condon heads ICC investigation
June 26, 2000 Cronje begs forgiveness for his involvement in illicit gambling deals after the first round of hearings of the King Commission closes.

A former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Condon, is appointed director of the ICC's anti-corruption investigation.

Tax raids on Indian players
July 20, 2000 In a swift and well-coordinated operation, Indian income tax officials raid the homes of top cricket players and officials across the country, including those of then national coach Kapil Dev, former players Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Nayan Mongia and Nikhil Chopra.

Two South African players banned
August 28, 2000 The UCBSA bans Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams from international cricket until December 31, 2000, for their role in the match-fixing scandal. Pieter Strydom, is acquitted of conspiring to bet on the outcome of the Centurion Test againt England in January.

Kapil resigns as coach
September 12, 2000 Facing a government inquiry into corruption in cricket, Kapil Dev steps down as coach of the Indian team. He says quitting is not an admission of guilt, and that he was hesitant to leave the team in a lurch ahead of the ICC Knock-Out tournament in October.

Life ban for Cronje
October 11, 2000 The UCBSA imposes a life ban on Cronje. The ban, which was widely expected, extends to all the UCBSA's related cricket activities as well as that of its affiliates.


Former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin arrives for a meeting between government officials, cricket administrators and players in a bid to address match fixing allegations in the wake of South African skipper Hansie Cronje's dismissal over bribery charges. Indian Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said it was likely that the government would launch its own investigation into the allegations that some Indian players may be guilty of match fixing.
Mohammad Azharuddin: banned for life JOHN MACDOUGALL / © AFP
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Big names accused by bookie
October 31, 2000 Several players are named by bookmaker MK Gupta in the CBI report in India, among them Brian Lara, Dean Jones, Alec Stewart, Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, Martin Crowe and Saleem Malik.

The most damning indictment in the CBI report is of former captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who the report says confessed to fixing games with the help of colleagues Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia. The CBI also says it has found no concrete evidence against Kapil Dev.

Ranatunga and de Silva investigated
November 6, 2000 The Sri Lankan board appoints a one-man commission of inquiry to probe the charges of match-fixing against the two players and asks for a report within a month. De Silva is dropped from the squad for South Africa. Both are cleared of charges in July 2001 due to "inadequate and untested" evidence.

The New Zealand Cricket board announces that Retired High Court judge Sir Ian Barker and Christchurch barrister Nick Davidson will head its anti-corruption inquiry to investigate the allegations that Martin Crowe received money from an Indian bookmaker. Crowe is also cleared in July 2001 of any wrongdoing.

Nayan Mongia found not guilty
November 27, 2000 Mohammad Azharuddin is found guilty of match-fixing, while Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma and former Indian team physio Ali Irani are found guilty of having links with bookies by the BCCI's anti-corruption commissioner K Madhavan. Nayan Mongia is exonerated of all charges.

December 5, 2000 India's cricketing authorities slap a life ban on Azharuddin, and Ajay Jadeja for five years for their role in match-fixing, confirming the interim bans imposed in November. Ajay Sharma is also banned from the game for life, while Prabhakar and the Indian team's former physio, Ali Irani, are barred from holding any official post in Indian cricket for five years.

Jadeja's ban is overturned by the Delhi High Court in January 2003, saying there is no proof of his guilt. In May 2003, the court rules that Jadeja should be allowed to play domestic cricket.

Sharjah investigated
December 10, 2000 Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd is named as head of a three-member team to probe allegations of match-fixing in tournaments organised by the CBFS in Sharjah. The investigation team is to include a lawyer and a senior police official from Sharjah.

Stewart cleared
July 11, 2001 England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart is cleared of allegations that he took money from a bookmaker in return for providing team and pitch information during England's 1992-93 tour of India, Sir Paul Condon's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACSU) confirms in a statement in London.

World Cup game investigated
June 22, 2002 Pakistan's Bhandari Commission, instituted primarily to investigate the Pakistan-Bangladesh match in the 1999 World Cup, releases its report with little credible evidence to incriminate the players.

No case against Atapattu
May 12, 2004 The Sri Lankan board announces that the match-fixing investigation against Marvan Atapattu has been dropped for lack of evidence. The investigation followed the discovery of about Rs 1.1 million ($11,150 approx) in cash in Atapattu's hotel room during England's tour of Sri Lanka in December 2003.

Odumbe banned
August 17, 2004 Kenya's former captain, Maurice Odumbe, is banned for five years by the Kenyan Cricket Association after being found guilty of receiving money from bookmakers on several occasions.

Boje skips India tour
November 3, 2004 Nicky Boje pulls out of a two-Test tour of India after being told he might be detained by Indian police over their match-fixing investigations.

Stephen Fleming reveals offer
November 7, 2004New Zealand's captain claims he was offered £200,000 (approx $370,000) by an Indian sports promoter during the 1999 World Cup to join a match-fixing syndicate.

Murali denies betting links
September 16, 2005 Muttiah Muralitharan dismisses rumours regarding his alleged connection with a Mumbai bar dancer and, through her, with the betting syndicates. His statement comes after a week of intense speculation in the Indian media on the renewed threat of match-fixing.

Qayyum's soft corner for Akram
January 16, 2006 The Pakistan Cricket Board appoints lawyers to look into the ramifications of a revelation by Justice Qayyum that he was soft on Wasim Akram in his report.

Gibbs questioned
October 12, 2006 The Delhi police question Herschelle Gibbs for over two hours about the South Africa tour of India in 2000. Gibbs allegedly names Derek Crookes, the former South Africa spinner, as being involved in match-fixing. Crookes denies the allegation, saying he was cleared by the King Commission.

Samuels' bookie connection
May 13, 2008 Marlon Samuels is banned for two years for allegedly passing on match-related information to an Indian bookie during West Indies' one-day series in India in 2007.

Saleem Malik's ban lifted
October 23, 2008 A Pakistan court lifts the life ban imposed on the former Pakistan captain for his involvement in match-fixing.


Marlon Samuels takes a break during a West Indies nets session, Adelaide, December 14, 2000
Marlon Samuels was banned in 2008 for allegedly passing on information to an Indian bookie © Getty Images
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Bookies contact Pakistan?
August 10, 2009 The ICC says that its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), on investigation, found "no substance" and "no evidence" to support suggestions that Pakistan players had contact with Indian bookmakers during their tour of Sri Lanka.

Fixing accusations in the ICL
August 10, 2009 An audio tape of a phone conversation between Mohammad Illyas, a Pakistan selector, and Saleem Altaf, the PCB's chief operating officer, alludes to match-fixing in the ICL. Illyas, father-in-law of Imran Farhat, who played in the ICL, accuses senior Lahore Badshahs players of having fixed matches.

Australian approached
August 18, 2009 The Australian team management files a report with the ACSU after one of their players says he was approached by a man suspected of links to illegal bookmaking, after Australia's defeat to England in the Lord's Ashes Test.

County cricket is hit
May 15, 2010 Essex cricket players Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield are arrested following an investigation into betting irregularities but are not charged.

Shakib-Al-Hasan approached
May 26, 2010 The Bangladesh captain confirms he received an approach, believed to be in March 2008, from an unknown person who Shakib believed wanted him to manipulate the result of a one-day international against Ireland.

Pakistan under fixing scanner again
August 29, 2010 The fourth Test between England and Pakistan at Lord's was at the centre of a police investigation into spot-fixing following the arrest of a 35-year-old man, who was allegedly caught claiming to have bribed Pakistan's bowlers to bowl no-balls on demand.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

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