<
>

How the match fixing drama unfolded

April 7

Delhi police charge Hansie Cronje with fixing the one day matches played against India in March for money. They also release transcripts of an aleged conversation between Cronje and an Indian businessman, suggested to be a bookie, Sanjay Chawla. The transcripts deal with who is playing and who is not, who is in the `deal', the amount alleged to be paid to Cronje and his teammates Gibbs, Strydon and Boje. Similar charges are made against two Indians, Chawla and Delhi based businessman Rajesh Kalra, who is arrested. Chawla is reported to be in London.

New Delhi additional commissioner KK Paul states categorically that ``from the conversation between Sanjay Chawla and Cronje, it emerges the one day matches between India and South Africa played recently in India were fixed in exchange for money.'' Paul adds that ``we will seek the help of Interpol as a huge international crime has been committed.''

In Johannesburg, UCBSA chief Ali Bacher comes to Cronje's defence, saying that he is convinced there was no substance in the reports from India. ``Cronje is known for his unquestionable integrity and honesty,'' says Bacher, adding that he has spoken to the captain immediately he had heard about the allegations from New Delhi. ``He says it is absolute rubbish. There is nothing at all in it. The UCBSA is certain that no South African cricketer has ever been involved in match fixing,'' he says in a statement. He further adds that all the other players deny emphatically that there is any substance to these allegations.

Cronje in a statement through the UCBSA states: ``I have been informed of the developments and I am stunned. The allegations are completely without substance. I have been privileged to play for South Africa since 1992 and I want to ensure every South African that I have made a hundred percent effort to win every match that I have played. It has been an honour to play for South Africa and I would never do anything to let my country down.

ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya, in Dhaka for the Asia XI-Rest of the World XI match being held as part of the Cricket Week celebrations, reacting to the developments says ``if there is any grey side to it, we will take care of it. We have our own way of working. We will cross the bridge when we come to it.''

April 8

The South African government says it will contact the Indian government to convey the country's concerns about the match fixing allegations levelled against four South African cricketers. Aziz Pahad, deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs assures Ali Bacher that the government would seek an explanation for reports that South African players' telephones were tapped while on the tour of India. The government also says it will seek an explanation regarding the process by which the allegations against the four players were made public.

The UCBSA says it is dismayed that the integrity of South African cricket and its players has been questioned. ``We remain adamant that our players have never been party to match fixing,'' says Ali Bacher.

South African cricket officials and the media rally behind Cronje with newspaper reports claiming that he has framed. Graham Ford, coach of the South African team says Indian police have been `overhasty' in filing the charges. ``We were never approached by any gambling syndicate. The whole story is a storm in a teacup. I am sure that when further details are available, the innocence of Hansie and the others will be fully proved,'' he says in a statement.

Senior cricket writer Trevor Chesterfield comes to the conclusion that ``the whole thing is a hoax. I heard the tape alleged to be between Cronje and a bookmaker being played on air. My impression is that both voices were of Asian origin. The voice that was supposed to be Hansie's did not have a South African accent. It was definitely not Hansie's voice.''

Former South African captain Kepler Wessels doubts the allegations but calls for an independent inquiry into the allegations saying they are too serious to be just dismissed. ``I would be astonished if it happened in this instance. But this thing is rife in cricket and the biggest mistake we could make would be to try and sweep it under the carpet without an investigation.''

Former South African coach Bob Woolmer says ``I am convinced that Hansie is not guilty and that he would not even contemplate such actions. These allegations are absolute garbage. He is not the type of person to get involved in anything like this.''

Christian spiritual leader pastor Ray McCauley, rising to Cronje's defence says he is very shocked by the allegation. ``Because I know Hansie as a person of integrity I cannot believe he would be party to any such allegation,'' he tells The Citizen newspaper.

Indian Cricket Board secretary dismissed the match allegations as ``rubbish.''. In a TV interview he says ``as far as we are concerned, there is nothing. As far as we are concerned, everything is okay. This is not fair. Where is the question (of fixing the match)? This is all rubbish.'' He also says that he has doubts whether the police would be able to prove the charges in court. ``Making allegations does not end the matter. They have to prove the charges.''

Arrested Indian businessman Rajesh Kalra admits to offering the players 400,000 to 500,000 dollars to fix the matches according to an interview in a weekly magazine. ``The series was fixed at 400,000 to 500,000 US dollars,'' Kalra tells India Today.

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar is of the view that the image of the game should be saved from such people. ``Take away every run, wicket and catch from those involved in the match fixing. If found guilty, none should be spared, past or present.''

Another former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar says ``I do not understand how they do such a thinb with so much more money in the game now,'' adding that if proved guilty they should be banned for life.

Delhi Police name another person involved in the match fixing controversy. He is Krishan Kumar, a former film actor and is briefly interrogated by a team of police officers but is admitted to a hospital in Mumbai complaining of angina. Kumar, a brother of late music baron Gulshan Kumar is said to have been a regular visitor to Kalra's home.

April 9

Hansie Cronje denies match fixing allegations at a news conference in Durban. ``I want to make 100 percent clear that I deny ever receiving any sum of money during the one day series in India. I want to also make it absolutely clear that I have never spoken to any member of the team about throwing a game.'' He says that he belives match fixing has no place in sport and speaks about the ``hurt'' the allegations have caused him. ``The only way to clear my name is to speak to the players and to check my bank accounts.''

Gibbs and Boje also attend the press conference and back Cronje's story and say neither had received any offers to fix matches.

Ali Bacher tells the media conference that the South African government and the UCBSA view the allegations ``in a most serious light. The issues at stake are the lack of protocol used on this most serious issue and the bugging of phones used by the South African team while in India.''

UCBSA President Percy Sonn expresses anger at the ``spurious'' allegations by Indian police against Cronje and says the South African has no case to answer unless Indian police release the tape recordings. Diplomatic efforts are on to have the tapes made available to the UCBSA.

Amid a growing diplomatic flare up, the South African government stepped in into the row with the Indian High Commissioner summoned to Pretoria to explain why the players' cellphones and rooms were bugged during the tour of India.

Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad tells a Johnnesburg newspaper that South Africa's High Commissioner to India had listened to excerpts from the tapes and was convinced the accents are not South African.

The Indian government turns down the High Commissioner's request for a copy of the tapes. But Pahad insists that the tapes must be handed over since ``we want to carry out our own inquiry. If there is any substance to the allegations - and I doubt very much that the individuals concerned are capable of something like that - we will take the necessary steps.''

New Delhi police widen inquiry into the match fixing scandal by sending investigators to three Indian cities and seeking Interpol's help in tracking down Sanjay Chawla. Teams are sent to Mumbai, Bangalore and Kochi to collect vital information relating to the case based on the disclosures made by Rakesh Kalra.

April 10

Indian police say it has new evidence to shore up the match fixing charges against Hansie Cronje. New Delhi Crime Branch chief Pradeep Srivastava, describing the additional evidence as ``clinching'', says ``we believe we now have sufficient evidence in the case but it is for the courts to decide.'' Srivastava says he has proof that Cronje was in contact with Sanjay Chawla during the five one day internationals played in India between March 9 and 19.

The CBI says that a request would be forwarded to Interpol soon to obtain voice samples of South African skipper Hansie Cronje and Sanjay Chawla to authenticate the taped conversations between the two allegedly involved in the match fixing scandal.

In Chennai, the BCCI president AC Muthiah says he will react to the charges of match fixing only after the particulars are made available by the authorities. The details would be placed before the BCCI working committee meeting on April 28. He also says that the UCBSA has not contacted the BCCI over the matter.

Australian captain Steve Waugh, talking to reporters just before the team leaves Sydney for South Africa, says those found guilty of the charges should not be allowed to play. ``If you are found guilty you are not playing the game for the right reason, you are selling the spectators short and your teammates. There is no room for it in any sport, so if the charge is serious enough, then they should have to pay the penalty.''

April 11

South Africa says it is still waiting for a formal response from India to its request to examine the tapes. ``There has been no response as yet,'' says an embassy spokesman in New Delhi, a day after the South African High Commissioner to India Maite Nkoana-Mashabane called at the foreign ministry to request access to the tapes.

UCBSA announces that Hansie Cronje has withdrawn from the three match one day series against Australia commencing on April 12. His place will be taken by Dave Callaghan and Shaun Pollock is the new captain.

The UCBSA sacks Hansie Cronje after he admits having been ``dishonest'' with the board over his activities in India, says Ali Bacher. The UCBSA chief says he and Percy Sonn had received a call from Cronje to say that he had been dishonest with the board. ``As a consequence the UCBSA decided to withdraw Cronje from the South African team for Wednesday's limited overs match against Australia at Durban.''

Hansie Cronje acknowledges receiving 10,000 to 15000 dollars during the one day series in India but denies taking part in match fixing. Ali Bacher says the South African government will launch an inquiry into the allegations.

Confusion reigns as Hansie Cronje denies that he had received any money in the match fixing scandal minutes after Ali Bacher declares that Cronje had acknowledged receiving money. Bacher tells a press conference in Durban that Cronje had been paid between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars during a triangular series in South Africa for ``providing information and forecast but not match fixing.'' However Cronje in a statement issued through Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour in Cape Town says ``I never received any financial rewards.''

Bacher says Cronje's contract with the UCBSA has been suspended and he will not receive a slary at the end of April.

Cronje's version, relayed through Balfour is that earlier in the year he was contacted by a South African during the series with England and Zimbabwe which was about three weeks before the tour of India. ``While I was in India I was again contacted. I mentioned names of players but in fact I never spoke to a single player about throwing a match. I never received any financial rewards. I wish to emphasise that the allegations of match fixing by myself are devoid of all truth.''

New Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma says Cronje's sacking is ``a vindication of our stand.'' Senior police officials say they are ``widening the investigation'' into the match fixing case.

New Delhi Joint Police Commissioner KK Paul says that Rajesh Kalra has named more people in the scandal. ``Some more names have cropped up during the investigation and through Kalra's interrogation but these names do not relate to members of the Indian team,'' he says.

South African fast bowling great Allan Donald says that Hansie Cronje was set up. ``By the looks of it he was set up but at the end of the day it does not matter. If you accept money you are leaving yoursle open,'' adding that Cronje had shown poor judgement.

Sanjay Chawla, one of the main accused in the scandal, denies he was involved or had met or spoken to Hansie Cronje. A statement by his lawyer in London says he would not like to meet the press and that he would not make further comments until the matter had blown over.

April 12

Wisden editor Mathew Engel says the current betting scandal could be linked to the lack of official action over the infamous bet of Rodney Marsh and Dennis Lillee in 1981. ``If you go right back to the beginning of this, in 1981 when Lillee and Marsh bet against their own side in a Test match, nothing was done against them,'' he points out. ``That set the standard of inaction and complacency on the part of cricket's administrators - that the whole thing did not matter. I found it shameful then and I find it shameful now.''

ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya says it will order a full scale inquiry into the match fixing scandal. ``I promise the ICC will get to the bottom of the matter,'' he says.

Jagmohan Dalmiya says cricket will survive the scandal. ``Cricket does not stop because some black sheep are there. It is a great game. But if there are some black sheep what one has to do is weed them out.''

Jagmohan Dalmiya says the UCBSA's findings will be forwarded to the ICC's code of conduct commission, headed by Lord Huge Griffiths of England for review. ``We have said before and now reiterate in the clearest possible manner that any attempt to interfere with the fair conduct of sport is totally unacceptable to the ICC. Those who seek to tarnish the image of cricket in this manner must be brought to justice.''

A Crime Branch team is in Bombay investigating possible links between the Cronje case and the Dubai based Bombay underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted in India for more than 100 crimes. ``We expect some arrests to take place in Bombay,'' says a top police officer.

South African High Commissioner to India Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says that Pretoria is willing to co-operate in any way with the Indian police.

Dennis Rogers, chairman of the Australian Cricket Board says in Durban that the South African inquiry into the Hansie Cronje affair should be conducted urgently in terms of a recent ICC ruling. Rogers, Australia's representative on the ICC, says the world body has the power to review and if necessary override any action the UCBSA might take.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan warns that the game of cricket would face further disgrace if an extensive inquiry was not launched into match fixing practices. ``A worldwide inquiry has to be the only solution otherwise the game might lose the respect it has earned in 100 years. This new episode reveals that match fixing is common in all teams while previously they were happy throwing much on Pakistan and India alone.''

President Thabo Mbeki's government in Cape Town urges South Africans not to treat the match fixing scandal as a ``national crisis'' nor to fall into a collective depression. ``It must be dealt with by the sporting community, it is not a national political crisis at all,'' says chief government spokesman Joel Netschitenzhe.

Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad tells reporters that the cabinet is keen to set up a judicial commission of inquiry into the scandal as soon as possible. ``It is the government's intention that we don't delay this matter longer than is necessary. It is impacting on very many aspects of South Africa's image abroad.''

The controversial fifth Test between South Africa and England in January will form part of the inquiry into match fixing allegations against Hansie Cronje, an official says in Cape Town. The Test at Genturion Park in which both teams agreed to forfeit an innings after three days of rain was won by England by two wickets with five balls to spare. UCBSA communications director Brownwyn Wilkinson said Cronje's role in the Test would be probed by the judicial commission, which is expected to be set up in the next few days. ``UCBSA president Percy Sonn has confirmed that the last day of the Centurion Park Test would be covered in the inquiry as well as any other major points of suspicion,'' says Wilkinson. It was at Cronje's suggestion that both captains forfeited an innings to make it possible to avoid a draw.

AC Muthiah, president, Board of Control for Cricket in India says that any Indian cricketer found guilty of betting or match fixing will face a ban for life.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, President, ICC requests that the BCCI president AC Muthiah meet him at Calcutta on April 18 in order to exchange views and to ascertain the actions contemplated by the Indian Board in the match fixing episode.

Former president of the BCCI IS Bindra says the Indian Cricket Board hushed up information that three Indian Test players were betting against their own team. Bindra says three players were reported to the BCCI over the last few years but no action was taken. ``Between 1996 and 2000, the BCCI was told repeatedly that three players were indulging in betting but the matter was glossed over,'' Bindra says in a TV programme to be telecast on Saturday. ``Two tour managers and one coach had also mentioned in their reports that some players were taking part in unlawful activities. Every Indian Board member knows the identity of the players. It is no secret,'' he says.

Former BCCI president IS Bindra says the Indian Cricket Board should ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the whole gamut of allegations about match fixing in some of the off shore tournaments India is participating in. ``Till an independent inquiry clears these venues of all the charges, India must stop playing there,'' he says in a newspaper interview.

April 13

Australian match referee Barry Jarman says he does not believe the controversial fifth Test between South Africa and England in January was fixed. It was for the first time in Test history, spanning 123 years and 1483 matches, that even a single innings had been forefeited, but Jarman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio that there had been nothing to suggest any malpractice.

South Africans vote overwhelmingly in a newspaper poll to allow Hansie Cronje to play again as details of the bribery scandal that led to his downfall begin to emerge. In a poll published in The Star, 94 percent of the 7220 respondents vote to allow Cronje to play for South Africa again against six percent who say `no'.

The Star names a mysterious South African go between as Hamid `Banjo' Cassim, a Johannesburg businessman and friend of Cronje with links to Indian cricketers Mohd Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar. The Star says that Cassim is the linkman between Cronje and the London based Indian businessman Sanjiv Chawla.

South African Foreign Ministry spokesman Ronnie Mameopa says that if the Indian government request extradition, president Thabo Mbeki would ask Justice Minister Penuell Maduna to establish a magisterial inquiry to determine whether the charges are ``of an extraditable nature''. South Africa and India have no extradition treaty.

Mbeki, currently attending a G-77 summit in Havana, says South Africa should not leave any stone unturned in a judicial commission inquiry being set up. Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad tells reporters after a cabinet meeting that the government would co-operate fully with Indian authorities.

The Beeld newspaper reports that Cronje had received 8200 dollars, which it says Cronje's brother Hans had counted at Bacher's request. Bacher had earlier told journalists on April 11 that Cronje had received somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars.

A Reserve Bank official tells the Citizen newspaper that Cronje could be fined up to 250,000 rand (38000 dollars) for being in possession of foreign currency.

Hansie Cronje repeats his denial of any involvement in fixing or manipulating match results. ``I always played to win,'' he says reading a prepared statement to reporters in Bloemfontein, the capital of Free State province. He says speculation and criticism against other members of the South African team is wrong and unjustified. ``I know of no member of any side that I have led who has done anything reprehensible or wrong,'' a composed Cronje says.

World Cup hero Lance Klusener, the latest figure to be linked to the scandal, denies reports that he had informed Indian police about Cronje's alleged wrongdoings. Klusener was reportedly seen to have had a bust up with Cronje in a hotel foyer in India and is alleged to have then ``shopped'' his captain to the Indian authorities. But Klusener dismisses it by saying that he was never involved in any argument or dispute with the captain in any hotel foyer. ``The first time I heard about the allegations against Hansie was when we arived back here in South Africa,'' says Klusener.

Lord MacLaurin, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board calls for an urgent meeting between the leading Test playing countries to discuss the match fixing controversy. He reveals that he has already sent a fax to the ICC suggesting such a conference. Speaking at a function in London, he calls for any player found guilty of breaching the code of donduct to be banned for life.

The Indian government asks the BCCI for a report on the recent bad performances of the Indian team. Sports Minister SS Dhindsa says that he cannot rule out match fixing as a cause for this. Dhindsa says he has asked BCCI secretary JY Lele to submit a report on India's recent poor performances and the Board's further course of action regarding the issue. The report is expected to be submitted within a week and is to be discussed at a meeting convened by Dhindsa on April 27. The meeting, among others, will be attended by Indian coach Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Lele and AC Muthiah.

Indian players Sachin Tendulkar and Mohd Azharuddin deny any links with Hameed Cassim. Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, Azhar says ``yes, I know him. But so do all the other Indian players. He used to bring Indian food for us in South AFrica. But that does not mean I have any links with him''. Speaking in Mumbai, Tendulkar says Cassim used to organise Indian food for the team, especially the vegetarians. That's all my relationship with him.''

Former Indian captains MAK Pataudi and Bishen Bedi urge that the CBI take over the match fixing case.

England captain Nasser Hussain says that only half the story of the scandal in South African cricket has come to light. Expressing shock at Hansie Cronje admitting that he had taken money, Hussain says it is very easy for the captain of a cricket team to influence the result of a match. ``As a captain it is very easy to fix things. You are in charge of the game and and tactically all the decisions are yours.''

South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs, originally named in the match fixing scandal, says he is relieved to have been cleared of any wrongdoing by Hansie Cronje. The sacked South African captain earlier said that no other member of the side had done anything wrong.

Hansie Cronje hints that his South African career is over. In a statement read out in his lawyer's office in Bloemfontein, he says ``I am truly proud to have been associated with this side and wish Shaun and the rest of the team nothing but success in the future. All I will say is that I was not involved in fixing or manipulating the results of cricket matches. I always played to win. I know of no member of any side that I have led who has done anything reprehensible or wrong. I find myself in an awful predicament brought about by my own foolishness and naivety.''

Former South African coach Bob Woolmer claims that the team was offered 250,000 dollars to fix a match during South Africa's 1996 tour of India. According to a report in the Daily Sport newspaper in London, Woolmer said that the entire squad got together and vowed not to get involved with those trying to get in touch with them.

New Delhi police say that actor Kishan Kumar not only financed the activities of Sanjeev Chawla but was a partner in his dealings. Stating that the police have enough evidence to proceed against the actor, a senior Crime Branch officer says that besides the financial transactions, police had also come to know of his links with others involved.

April 14

Former South African captain Clive Rice says that he believes cricket in South Africa would be tainted by the Hansie Cronje scandal for years to come - just as the infamous 1932-33 Bodyline series between England and Australia had affected the sport for decades.

The South African team rallies behind Hansie Cronje with his successor Shaun Pollock declaring that the entire team was with him. Pollock dedicates the victory against Australia in the first one day tie in Durban to his disgraced predecessor.

Australian Cricket Board chief executive Malcolm Speed says in Melbourne that the Hansie Cronje scandal has strengthened the ACB's resolve to eliminate scams ``which pose a real threat to the integrity of the game''. Speed says the challenge for cricketers and administrators is to ensure that ``this cancer does not take hold''.

April 15

South African opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs breaks his silence and denies any part in match rigging or betting allegations involving Hansie Cronje. Gibbs tells the Cape Argus newspaper he was stunned when he was implicated in the Indian betting scandal. ``I felt bad but I knew I was innocent. Nothing would ever make me do something so irresponsible. Nobody approached us. When we were told about it we were terribly shocked.'' Gibbs was implicated by transcripts of alleged conversations between Cronje and Sanjay Chawla.

UCBSA communications manager Bronwyn Wilkinson says Ali Bacher has had telephonic discussions with the Indian Cricket Board in order to reaffirm the close ties between the two countries. It is the first time that Bacher has been in contact with Indian Board officials since the match fixing scandal broke. ``India were instrumental in helping South Africa return to international cricket after the isolation years and Dr Bacher wants to ensure that the ties between the two countries remain strong,'' Wilkinson tells a South African news agency.

Federal revenue officials arrest Kishan Kumar on charges that he was one of the conduits between arrested bookmaker Rajesh Kalra and his business associate in London, Sanjay Chawla. Kishan Kumar, who was arrested in a hospital where he is undergoing treatment for reported cardiac problems has not been moved from his bed because of his poor health, according to doctors. His arrest is the second since April 7, the day the match fixing scandal broke. Police detectives say that Kishan Kumar's arrest is also part of an ongoing probe aimed at unearthing links between bookmakers and India's underworld in match fixing.

Delhi police Crime Branch sources say that evidence to be produced in court soon would be ``clinching''. Saying that it is not for Hansie Cronje to absolve anyone, the sources say ``we will produce clinching evidence in court to back up our FIR.'' The players initially named along with Cronje were Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Bose and Pieter Strydom but Cronje had since said they were not part of any of the conspiracies.

Delhi police say they are likely to press for the prosecution to begin in the middle of next week. ``Things are falling into place,'' says a Federal revenue official without elaborating.

Detectives say they possess 14 audio tapes containing conversations between Chawla and Cronje during his stay in India.

In Calcutta, more than 1000 young cricketers stage a rally to protest against match fixing, according to witnesses. ``Hansie, your confession has made us sad. Cricket is our passion, betting is bad,'' said a banner with reference to Cronje's admission.

Indian Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa says steps will be taken to clear the web of controversial dealings after consultations with experts. He says the Ministry would also consider if betting could be made legal in cricket like in some other sports but only after getting the views of experts. Dhindsa says the Indian Government would soon initiate stern steps to cleanse the game.

April 16

Indian law enforcers say they have tightened their case in the match fixing scandal involving Hansie Cronje by getting more evidence in the home of arrested bookmaker Sanjiv Chawla. Revenue officials from the Enforcement Directorate say they raided the home of Chawla in New Delhi's posh Greater Kailash district late Saturday and recovered a diary with names, addresses and telephone numbers of cricket bookies.

Enforcement Directorate special prosecutor Subash Bansal tells VK Khanna, a magistrate in New Delhi's metropolitan court that one of the bookmakers listed in the diary is being investigated.

Chawla denies the diary belongs to him and accuses Indian authorities of `mentally torturing' him.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee says the government has no plans to legalise betting on cricket matches. ``I have read some reports on cricket betting. The government has no proposal to legalise betting. We are all for eliminating this menace,'' Vajpayee tells the national executive meeting of the BJP in New Delhi.

South African opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs breaks his silence and denies any part in match rigging or betting allegations involving Hansie Cronje. Gibbs tells the Cape Argus newspaper he was stunned when he was implicated in the Indian betting scandal. ``I felt bad but I knew I was innocent. Nothing would ever make me do something so irresponsible. Nobody approached us. When we were told about it we were terribly shocked.'' Gibbs was implicated by transcripts of alleged conversations between Cronje and Sanjay Chawla.

UCBSA communications manager Bronwyn Wilkinson says Ali Bacher has had telephonic discussions with the Indian Cricket Board in order to reaffirm the close ties between the two countries. It is the first time that Bacher has been in contact with Indian Board officials since the match fixing scandal broke. ``India were instrumental in helping South Africa return to international cricket after the isolation years and Dr Bacher wants to ensure that the ties between the two countries remain strong,'' Wilkinson tells a South African news agency.

Federal revenue officials arrest Kishan Kumar on charges that he was one of the conduits between arrested bookmaker Rajesh Kalra and his business associate in London, Sanjay Chawla. Kishan Kumar, who was arrested in a hospital where he is undergoing treatment for reported cardiac problems has not been moved from his bed because of his poor health, according to doctors. His arrest is the second since April 7, the day the match fixing scandal broke. Police detectives say that Kishan Kumar's arrest is also part of an ongoing probe aimed at unearthing links between bookmakers and India's underworld in match fixing.

Delhi police Crime Branch sources say that evidence to be produced in court soon would be ``clinching''. Saying that it is not for Hansie Cronje to absolve anyone, the sources say ``we will produce clinching evidence in court to back up our FIR.'' The players initially named along with Cronje were Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Bose and Pieter Strydom but Cronje had since said they were not part of any of the conspiracies.

Delhi police say they are likely to press for the prosecution to begin in the middle of next week. ``Things are falling into place,'' says a Federal revenue official without elaborating.

Detectives say they possess 14 audio tapes containing conversations between Chawla and Cronje during his stay in India.

In Calcutta, more than 1000 young cricketers stage a rally to protest against match fixing, according to witnesses. ``Hansie, your confession has made us sad. Cricket is our passion, betting is bad,'' said a banner with reference to Cronje's admission.

Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal denies that Sharjah is the hub of betting and match fixing.

After his house is raided by Enforcement Directorate officials, Rajesh Kalra alleges that he is being framed. ``I am innocent. I am not a bookie. They are mentally torturing me and have forced me to sign certain documents,'' he says.

Enforcement Directorate special prosecutor Subash Bansal however says that they have some vital information about many bookies and punters and also about illegal foreign exchange transactions after questioning Kalra and examining a seized diary which has names, addresses and telephone numbers of nine cricket bookies.

Intelligence sources say that another suspect in the match fixing scandal is Anees Ibrahim, the brother of Dubai based Mumbai underworld figure Dawood Ibrahim. Intelligence sources also confirm that they have identified three more bookies in Mumbai who are allegedly engaged in match fixing.

Indian Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa says he has asked for the Chandrachud Committee report on match fixing to go through it personally and maybe even decide soon on making it public. He says the Lok Sabha has received a call attention motion on the match fixing scandal and will discuss the issue threadbare in Parliament on April 17.

April 17

Sadha Govender Kwazulu, a cricket official of Indian origin and the Natal cricket development programme chairman, alleges he has been slapped and kicked by whites shouting at him that `Charros' - South African slang for Indians - brought Hansie Cronje down.'' Officials say the incident occurred at the first one day match between Australia and South Africa on Wednesday night at Kingsmead. Govender says he was attacked after a function where 100 former players and officials of the former black National Cricket Board and white Natal Cricket Association had assembled.

Reports quoting The Sunday Times in London say that Scotland Yard is in touch with Indian police over the investigations in the match fixing racket.

Media reports from London say that England captain Nasser Hussain will be asked to give his testimony to the judicial inquiry following new allegations against Cronje on the rain hit fifth and final Test between the two countries in January. Hussain has maintained that there was nothing improper about the circumstances that led to England's thrilling victory after both sides had forfeited an innings.

Former President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India Raj Singh Dungarpur rejects criticism by his predecessor IS Bindra that the BCCI has not taken action against incidents of match fixing and says that no action was taken as no such incidents were reported during his tenure from 1996 to 1999.

Indian Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley, in a front page article in the Hindustan Times, says that Australia's leniency in dealing with players who were paid to advise bookmakers helped to encourage match fixing in international cricket. ``The system came very close to unearthing the truth when Australians Mark Waugh and Shane Warne admitted they advised bookies about the weather and pitch conditions and received payments for it,'' wrote Jaitley. ``The Australian Board was either too naive and swallowed their explanation or perhaps accepted it because it did not want to lose two of its greatest players. The leniency shown only encouraged the misdemeanour,'' said Jaitley, who is also the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

A 1996 team meeting at which South African players were allegedly offered 250,000 dollars to lose a game against India will be investigated by the UCBSA according to Ali Bacher. Several players who were on that tour have confirmed an offer was conveyed to the team by the captain Hansie Cronje. ``I will be asking each and everyone of our contracted players who were on the 1996-97 tour to tell me exactly what happened,'' says Bacher.

April 18

The England and Wales Cricket Board says it will pass on information to police and continue their own investigations into match fixing after interviewing England all rounder Chris Lewis about comments attributed to him in a Sunday newspaper. While the ECB does not give precise details as to what was said behind the closed door meeting, they give the strongest possible indication that Lewis had indeed named the names of alleged England wrongdoers in a meeting that lasts several hours. The ECB says in a statement that ``he has put all information in his possession into the hands of the board. As a result the board is passing this information to the police.''

An inquiry at Britain's police headquarters at Scotland Yard into allegations made by Chris Lewis and New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming continues after the pair claim that they were offered cash to fix the outcome of an international between the two countries last summer.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India decides to make the Justice Chandrachud committee report on match fixing and betting public. The BCCI will request the Sports Ministry to table the report in Parliament. It also welcomes a fresh probe by police or any other investigating agency. The BCCI also decides to implement a six point code of conduct for the players. The code of conduct is broadly based on the suggestions made by the ICC code of conduct commission headed by Lord Hugh Griffith. These decisions are taken following a meeting in Calcutta convened by ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower says he is not surprised by allegations of match fixing in cricket. He says he has long suspected `shenanigans' in some competitions. Speaking to reporters in Grenada Flower says, ``There have been instances I thought the opposition did not quite look themselves. I think there are some shenanigans going on but they are obviously investigating it quite closely at the moment and it is going to be exciting to see what happens.''

Prominent Black journalist Mathatha Tseudu condemns the racial based reactions that the match fixing scandal is evoking in South Africa and wonders if the anti India reaction of the Whites would have been the same had the charges been made by Scotland yard.

Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, speaking at a press conference on joining English county Hampshire, says anyone found guilty of match fixing should be barred from cricket. He calls upon Hansie Cronje to make a full admission concerning the match fixing allegations levelled against him.

April 19

Indian politicians call for a federal probe into the match fixing allegations. India's main opposition Congress party urges an investigation into charges of foreign exchange violations and criminal links between bookies and drug barons. The party calls for a federal probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the scandal saying it has global implications. ``This is only a tip of the iceberg,'' says Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi quoting remarks by Ali Bacher describing the Indian sub continent as a ``hotbed of match fixing and betting.''

Former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India IS Bindra says that cheating is rampant in international cricket and calls Hansie Cronje a `hero' whose confession could save the game. ``Virtually every match in international cricket is fixed in one form or another. Match fixing is as old as the game itself,'' Bindra tells a press conference in New Delhi.``Hansie is small fish. There are still many sharks out there,'' he says.

The president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India AC Muthiah, in response to Bindra's allegations says ``Bindra has been saying that he is willing to give evidence. But his willingness is not enough. He has to present himself to the Delhi police to submit whatever proof he has.''

Indian coach and former captain Kapil Dev tells a TV channel that Indian Test players should stop playing cricket till the mess is cleared. ``You have to clean up,'' he says adding he suspects that even Indian players could be engaged in match fixing. ``I have no doubt anymore that something is going on.'' He adds that if it is proved any player had indulged in match fixing since Dev took over as coach in the last six months, ``I will resign as coach.'' He also adds that the pressure on the players will be great. ``Every time you score a zero or drop a catch, people will doubt you. It will be difficult to convince them. '' he says.

Former Indian cricketer Manoj Prabhakar disputes Justice Chandrachud's statement that he declined to reveal the names of Indian players involved in match fixing and said he was ready to identify them if the government provides him with legal support.

April 20

Ali Bacher claims that two matches at last year's World Cup were fixed, one international team was throwing and manipulating matches and an umpire was under suspicion. He tells Australian newspapers from his home in Johannesburg that his information comes from current and former international players and administrators. ``I am as confident as I can be without having all available evidence for you that it has been a common practice in world cricket,'' says Bacher. He says all details will be supplied to the South African judiciary inquiry into the Hansie Cronje scandal. Bacher says the World Cup match between Pakistan and Bangladesh which Pakistan lost raised the most concern. He indicates that Pakistan were suspected of throwing matches and says that Pakistani umpire Javed Akhtar is also under suspicion for the way he handled South Africa's 1998 tour of England when he gave nine lbws in the last Test.

Ali Bacher, a member of the International Cricket Council since 1991, says the game's governing body has failed to deal with match fixing. ``I don't have bank accounts or anything like that to prove it but match fixing has been the scourge of the game. As the latest crisis in South Africa has shown, it is a global problem. No one country can point the finger at anyone else.''

Former Australian coach Geoff Marsh says he has complete faith in the ethics of his World champion team after the World Cup became drawn into the match fixing scandal. Marsh guided Australia to their World Cup triumph in England last year but the tournament has been tarnished by the gambling scourge which has rocked the game with South African cricket boss Ali Bacher saying he was told two matches were fixed at the tournament.

Ali Bacher denies reports in Australian newspapers that allege he claimed matches at last year's World Cup were fixed. He confirms that two ex players had mentioned it to him and that he believes match fixing to be a common practice in world cricket. The reports, carried in several Australian newspapers, allege that Bacher, quoting a former international player as a source, believes that two of the 1999 World Cup matches were fixed.

Bronwyn Wilkinson of the UCBSA says that Bacher denies naming specific teams or matches but adds that Bacher stands by his reported comments on match fixing.

The Indian government pledges to use the full force of the law in investigating match fixing allegations even as it release a three year old report that gave a clean chit to Indian players. The government will leave no stone unturned to get to the botom of any charges whether through a probe by the CBI or any other investigative agency, Sports Minister SS Dhindsa tells Parliament. Dhindsa stresses that for the moment the government is unaware of any specific complaints against a particular Indian cricketer of Cricket Board official.

Dhindsa tables in Parliament the Chandrachud report into allegations by Manoj Prabhakar that some of his teammates had fixed matches. According to the report, Chandrachud labels Prabhakar's allegations as `imaginary and unrealistic'. While finding no evidence of match fixing by Indian players and officials, the report says illegal betting on matches does take place in India.

Dhindsa says the government is `seriously alarmed' by the recent revelations regarding match fixing in cricket especially in the context of the recently concluded series between India and South Africa. ``People having specific information regarding malpractices should come forward with information and they shall be provided adequate protection,'' says Dhindsa.

Two top South African umpires disclose that they were offered money to influence results of matches at different points in their career. While umpire Cyril Mitchley says he was offered $50,000 to ensure Pakistan did not lose the last of a three Test home series against Australia - which the host nation won 1-0 - in 1996, umpire Rudi Koertzen does not reveal the amount but says he was approached with an offer during a limited overs match btween India and West Indies in last year's tri nation one day series in Singapore which also involved Zimbabwe.

Reacting to the statements, Ali Bacher says both players and umpires should be investigated during the ICC meeting to be held in London on May 2 and 3 to disucss the match fixing issue.

The `Gulf News' reports that a leading Pakistani jeweller in Dubai did gift Mohd Azharuddin, captain of the Indian team for the Coca Cola Trophy in November 1998 a Mercedez Benz car during a lucky draw he conducted for the firm. Azhar had reacted to a report in `Outlook' magazine which reported that he was given a Mercedez Benz in Dubai by saying the editor should have known that a car, unlike a toy, cannot be brought into India without government and public knowledge.

Australian captain Steve Waugh admits that match fixing and betting allegations have tarnished the image of the game worldwide and it is now up to cricketers and administrators to clean up the mess by being honest. ``A lot of unfortunate things have been happening and cricket is no longer a gentlaman's game. If somebody has done something wrong, he will pay the price at some stage,'' Waugh tells a press conference in Calcutta. Reacting to the allegations which have rocked international cricket, Waugh said commissions have been set up everywhere to try and find out what is happening. ``People doing wrong things will be held responsible for tarnishing the image of the game. It is necessary to clean up the game. We have to get to the bottom of it,'' said Waugh.

April 21

The Indian government rules out framing of any new law for the crime of match fixing and said existing laws in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) takes care of it. ``Match fixing is cheating and there is section 420 of the IPC under which the punishment can be up to seven years imprisonment,'' says Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani in a TV programme.

The UCBSA rules out any boycott or suspension of visits to India in the wake of the Hansie Cronje episode. ``South Africa is not boycotting cricket in Indian by any means,'' UCBSA communications manager Bronwyn Wilkinson says in Johannesburg. As to whether Ali Bacher would defend Cronje who has admitted to being `dishonest' at the ICC meeting at Lord's on May 2 and 3, Wilkinson replies `I should not imagine so.'

Indian police say they are in no hurry to launch the formal prosecution of Hansie Cronje and the Indian bookmakers for match fixing. Delhi Police Crime Branch chief Pradeep Srivastava says formal legal proceedings against those charged in the match fixing case would begin this summer. ``It will be two to three months before we start the prosecutions,'' says Srivastava who broke the news of the scandal with his shock announcement on April 7. ``Right now we are going to the High Court on April 25 against the anticipatory bails being sought,'' the crime branch chief says of bookmakers Rajesh Kalra and former film actor Kishan Kumar, arrested in the case. The Indian judiciary permits a suspect to obtain bail from a court in advance to avoid detention by the police.

ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya regrets that cricketers' interest are not being kept paramount and that it has become the latest fashion to approach the media whenever anyone has anything to say. Dalmiya is ruffled by Ali Bacher's claims that two matches at last year's World Cup were fixed. ``Bacher said a few days ago that all betting and match fixing problems originated from the sub continent. He took back his words within 24 hours,'' says Dalmiya. ``So I am waiting for another retraction on the World Cup match fixing charge,'' Dalmiya says in a panel discussion broadcast on television. ``Otherwise he will have to explain why he went public with his allegation.'' Dalmiya says instead of speaking in public, all those who had revelations regarding match fixing should go to the investigating agencies of their respective countries.

Dalmiya takes umbrage at remarks made by Australian captain Steve Waugh in Calcutta on Thursday that cricket had ceased to be a game played by gentlemen. ``Cricket is still a gentleman's game whatever some people might think. In fact cricket has done what even the United Nations has not been able to do,'' he said, citing the joint hosting of the 1996 World Cup by India and Pakistan despite political tensions between the South Asian rivals.

Saber Hoosain Chowdhury, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) expresses disbelief at Ali Bacher's suggestion that a Bangladesh-Pakistan match in last year's World Cup may have been fixed. ``We showed our mettle in every department of that game and beat Pakistan,'' he tells The Independent newspaper. ``Such an allegation will demoralise our cricket.'' Chowdhury adds that the BCB will lodge an official protest if anyone makes any specific allegation against Bangladesh.

April 22

Javed Akhtar, Pakistan's former Test player and a former ICC panel umpire says he is contemplating legal action recent articles in the Australian press that have cast aspersions on his integrity. Akhtar who made his Test debut for Pakistan against England in 1962 and his Test umpiring debut in 1980, states that he is consultation with his legal advisor and will follow his solicitor's suggestions.'' Akhtar, who was Pakistan's nominee to the ICC panel of umpires in 1998-99 and officiated the matches at Johannesburg and Leeds in 1998, termed the recent allegations against him as ``absurd, rubbish and totally devoid of truth. Never ever in my umpring career have financial or other temptations affected my decisions.''

An Indian court denies bail to Rajesh Kalra, arrested in the Hansie Cronje scandal. Rejecting the bail petition of Kalra, magistrate KS Mohi says ``if the accused is released on bail, the investigation will be hampered since the main accused is yet to be arrested.''

Federal Revenue detectives grill Kishan Kumar in prison for information on how funds were moved from India to overseas accounts, reportedly held by the four named players in the match fixing case. ``We have received enough documents from the police which would establish that foreign currency laws have been flouted in these transactions,'' federal detectives say.

Former President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India IS Bindra tells a press conference in Mohali that he has been receiving death threats from outside India for his recent statements on match fixing. ``It was no coincidence that just before the start of the New Delhi press conference called by me on April 19, that I and my wife separately received threats aimed at my children. The people behind match fixing are a handful of cricket administrators and others with vested commercial interests,'' he said reiterating his earlier allegations. Bindra also attacks Dalmiya and challenges him to hold a public debate on the raging controversy. ``The ICC president should have replied to the issues of betting, match fixing, manipulation of players and privatisation of cricket in the garb of globalisation,'' says Bindra.

Indian Home Minister LK Advani warns of a `comprehensive' inquiry by the CBI into the match fixing charges. ``The government is keen to see that any individual who has indulged in serious misdeeds like these and brought shame to the game and respective countries is severely dealt with. Whatever necessary will be done including a probe by the CBI or any other agency. But it all depends on the Delhi police submitting its comprehensive inquiry report,'' he tells a news agency.

The South African police agree to assist their Indian counterparts in investigating the match fixing scandal, 15 days after the Delhi police case rocks the game the world over. But a police spokesman tells reporters in Pretoria that they have not been given copies of the tapes said to be conversations between Hansie Cronje and an Indian bookie.

The South African government announces that the judicial inquiry into the match fixing allegations will be instituted soon and the name of the judge to head the panel will be named ``within the next few days.'' We are contacting the person and ironing out the details,'' a Sports Ministry spokesman Brian Abrahams says.

Ali Bacher refuses to bow to ICC calls for him to retract allegations of match fixing at last year's World Cup. ``There will be an opportunity in London behind closed doors on Tuesday week for an honest and open discussion on the issue,'' Bacher says in reference to the emergency ICC meeting on May 2 and 3 to discuss match fixing.

April 23

Ali Bacher says he will wait until an ICC meeting in London next week before unmasking the teams he claims were involved in match fixing during last year's World Cup.

Afrikaans language Sunday newspaper `Rapport' says Bacher has during the week taken steps to ensure that the Hansie Cronje match fixing incident never again occurs in South African cricket. It says each senior player was called in turn to Bacher's office and made to sign a contract which compels them to advise cricketing authorites of any approaches made to them by bookmakers. Bacher says he wants to ``root out the cancer'' of bribery and match fixing. ``This is a massive international sports crisis. It could be the biggest sports crisis in decades,'' Bacher tells the newspaper. He says over the years there have been ``too many allegations, too many innuendos about irregularities in the game. We must nip it in the bud. In the long term it will not be good for the sport.'' Asked if he believed more South African players or officials are involved, he says ``I don't know . All that I can say is that we have already been let down once. I hope with all my heart it will never happen again. The players assured me that they were not involved.''