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November 11, 2006
Nicky Boje, the South African spinner, has said he did not have apprehensions about travelling to India for the Champions Trophy, insisting that his omission from the squad had nothing to do with the risk of being questioned by the Delhi police regarding match-fixing.
"I don't know what the Indian media is writing about me. I do not have to fear for anything," Boje, captain of a South African side for the Hong Kong Sixes, told The Indian Express. "I was ready with the answers to the questionnaire sent by the Delhi Police and I had even readied my lawyer to accompany me. But I was dropped from the squad. That is the fact."
Boje and Herschelle Gibbs had avoided touring India since 2000, after supposedly failing to obtain any assurance from the police with regards to questioning on the match-fixing scandal. But Boje pointed out that if Gibbs could travel, so could he.
"I really don't know how the Indian media blew it up without getting their facts right. Where did I come into the picture?," he said. "I was never indicted for match-fixing or any other suspicious activity. It was simply a case of police wanting to know certain things. They had sent me a questionnaire and I had all the answers ready."
Despite not being selected, Boje was confident of touring India in the future: "I have a proven record on your tracks as a bowler and I can be a handy batsman [as pinch-hitter] at the top of the order". It was a view endorsed by Ray Jennings, the former South African coach who's currently in charge of the Hong Kong Sixes side. "Boje is the best spinner available in the country, and it is still beyond my thinking how and why he was left out of the squad. He is a very handy batsman who can score quickly and can send down some nice tight overs."
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