Champions Trophy 2006-07 May 30, 2006

Bacher backs Boje over fixing claims

Cricinfo staff

South Africa's former cricket supremo, Dr Ali Bacher, is convinced that Nicky Boje, one of four South African players to be charged with offences relating to match-fixing on a tour of India in 2000, has never been involved in such activities.

Bacher, who was in charge of the South African board at the time, has made it clear that he believes Boje is entirely innocent. His comments are timely, as they come ahead of the Champions Trophy which will be held in India in October, a tournament that Boje may be forced to miss if Delhi Police decide to press charges.

"Nicky Boje was innocent," Bacher told PTI. "I know that for a fact. I can read people."

South Africa are still to decide whether to include Boje in the Champions Trophy squad. The Indian board offered to lobby the government on his behalf, and also that of Herschelle Gibbs - both of whom the police still want to question. They did, however, stop short of giving an assurance that the pair would be immune from questioning.

Following the relevations that led to Hansie Cronje's downfall, Boje and Gibbs were both mentioned in the course of an investigation by Delhi Police. Since then, they have twice opted out of an India tour - in 2004 for two Tests and in 2005 for a five-match ODI series.