Crowe waiting to see why he is named in report

Lynn McConnell

November 1, 2000

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Former New Zealand cricket captain Martin Crowe said it is "an uneasy situation" waiting to see how he has been referred to in the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation report on match-fixing.

The report is due to be released tomorrow and according to The Hindu newspaper alleges that former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin has fixed cricket matches with the help of Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia.

Other Indians mentioned are Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma. Prabhakar has been accusing other players with match-fixing involvement.

Among the foreign players listed in the report are: Crowe, former England captain Alec Stewart, West Indian star Brian Lara, Australians Mark Waugh and Dean Jones, Sri Lankans Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga, already disgraced South African captain Hansie Cronje and former Pakistan player Saleem Malik.

The report says Indian player Manoj Prabhakar introduced a number of foreign players to a bookie variously known as M K Gupta, M K or John. Gupta either offered or paid money to the players.

Crowe told CricInfo today that he did have an incident during the 1992 World Cup in which he was named the player of the tournament.

"I gave a couple of interviews to a journalist who was compiling a weekly diary on the tournament.

"I asked him if he could send me a copy of one of his stories and he told me he couldn't.

"When I asked him why, he said to me that he was a bookie. I then told him if I ever caught up with him ... and hung up," Crowe said.

Crowe said at that time there was never any hint of bookie involvement in match-fixing but whispers began to occur around 1994-1995.

And there had never been a hint of match fixing in any game he played and in the only game where it was felt a New Zealand team might have been playing was a One-Day International in Christchurch against Pakistan when he was injured.

"It seems they are throwing a net over every country in the world in the report," Crowe said.

The Hindu also states that allegations made by Prabhakar against Indian superstar and former coach Kapil Dev had "not been established."

By contrast, a Times of India report names "some foreign players who the bookies questioned by the agency alleged had been involved in match-fixing. They include a Pakistani, three Australians, two West Indians and an Englishman."

Another report in the same paper said: "there is no hard evidence against any of the players mentioned in the report but the evidence collected by interrogating several persons including prominent players and bookies, was enough to serve the purpose of giving a moral indictment to those involved in it."

It went on to say, "Under the existing law, the evidence gathered makes out no case against the players they said and added, 'if the bookies are roped in as accused, it would be an uphill task for the CBI to prove charges against them.'"

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