Herschelle Gibbs arrived in Mumbai today where the South Africans are based for the ten-nation Champions Trophy tournament and was promptly whisked away to the team hotel to avoid a large media contingent stationed at the airport. Gibbs, who was accompanied by lawyers and arrived four days after the rest of the South African squad, is to be questioned by the Indian police tomorrow over match-fixing allegations dating back to 2000.
Team officials declined to entertain questions on Gibbs and did not allow him to be interviewed by the media, saying he was tired after the long journey from Johannesburg and needed rest.
Gibbs was fined and suspended for six months by South Africa after he admitted accepting money from disgraced former captain Hansie Cronje to under-perform during a one-day international on the 2000 tour of India. He went on to score 74 runs in that game, claiming later that he had "forgotten" about the deal.
Cronje, who admitted to receiving money from illegal bookmakers but denied he was involved in match-fixing, was banned for life. He was killed in a plane crash near Cape Town in 2002. For six years Gibbs had declined to travel to India with the South African team fearing his arrest by the Indian police.
Confusion reigned over the likely venue of the police interrogation. New Delhi police officials had told AFP on Tuesday that Gibbs will be questioned in the Indian capital on Thursday. But Tshepo Tsotsotso, Cricket South Africa spokesperson, was quoted as saying in the Indian media from Johannesburg that Gibbs was unlikely to move away from Mumbai. "According to my information, Gibbs will be in Mumbai where he will be interviewed by the Indian police," Tsotsotso said.
On October 4, Micky Arthur, South Africa's coach, had said that Gibbs would be flying to Delhi for the interrogation. "Herschelle will fly on the night of October 10 straight to Delhi and will be accompanied by his lawyer," said Arthur "He has an appointment with KK Paul [the Indian policeman leading the match-fixing investigation], which we are led to believe will take an hour-and-a-half. He will then join the rest of the team in Mumbai ahead of the practice game on the 13th."
South Africa face New Zealand in their first Champions Trophy match at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Monday.