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'Let's Get Tough On Cheaters'


Haydn Gill
St. George's - The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) feels there should be stiff penalties for those involved in match-fixing.
WICB president Pat Rousseau, who is also an executive committee member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), said it was also vital that offenders be promptly dealt with.
His comments came in the face of the recent revelation from South Africa captain Hansie Cronje that he received between US$10 000 and US$15 000 from an Indian bookmaker.
'I think it is very important to take a strong position so people don't believe that we are ducking the issue,' Rousseau said here late Friday after the official opening of a cricket institute at the St. George's University.
'The view of the WICB is well-known. We have to take a strong position on it.
'I've been looking up the rules and the procedure for the council. I've been in touch with the president of the ICC and I think we will announce what steps we are going to take over the next week.'
Rousseau said the ICC had now developed a procedure to deal with such matters, adding that there was none when Australians Mark Waugh and Shane Warne were accused of match-fixing a few years ago.
The 12-member executive committee, comprising one representative from each of the nine Test-playing nations and three associate members would decide what action would be taken.
ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya had earlier said Cronje's admission and other allegations made by police in India required an immediate and thorough investigation.
The president also welcomed a move by the United Cricket Board of South Africa to establish an independent enquiry into the matter.
The report from that enquiry will be forwarded to the chairman of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, Lord Griffiths, for review in accordance with the procedures set down by ICC for the commission.
Allegations against Cronje first surfaced last week Friday when Delhi police charged him with fixing One-Day matches against India in March.
Cronje originally denied the allegations but last Tuesday acknowledged receiving money during the series which South Africa lost, but denied taking part in match-fixing.
He was promptly suspended from the South Africa team for a One-Day series against Australia that started the following day.