हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Little town basks in native sons feat

Published: Saturday, October 28, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: The Crime Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the match-fixing scandal in Indian cricket, has based its findings on circumstantial evidence collected against six top cricketing personalities during the course of investigation, agency sources said on Friday.The 150-page inquiry report has indicted at least six top cricketers and a former ex-game official in the scandal. The report will, moreover, contain in detail the statements and conduct of many other cricketers, officials and bookies.Sources close to the investigators told UNI that though certain circumstantial evidence has been gathered against these cricketers, it is unlikely that the agency would seek their prosecution on this basis as they do not fall within the ambit of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PAC) since they are not public servants.The agency is now likely to submit its inquiry report on Monday, CBI sources said.The sources said the report will in all probability, be now, submitted on Monday, by when the officials of the crime branch led by Special Director R N Sawani is expected to complete all formalities related to the submission of the report to Union Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.The report was scheduled to be submitted on Wednesday, but the agency could not complete the formalities in time and put it off for a few days. Six top cricketing personalities, including two former captains, have been indicted by the agency in the inquiry report on match-fixing scandal, which threatened to tear apart the image of the most popular game in India. The near six-month investigation by the premier investigating agency has also thrown up the names of many cricketing officials, including a former physiotherapist, and bookies as being involved in the 'dirty trade'. The agency sources said the report contains suggestions for improving the functioning of the Indian cricket Board to guard against match-fixing in future. The report is likely to suggest making mandatory a code for all players to declare all gifts received from abroad. The report will also highlight certain instances when matches were fixed, pitches at the playgrounds doctored and last minute changes effected in the team at the instance of bookies. The agency has questioned nearly 100 people including bookie Mukesh Gupta, who was named by disgraced former South African captain Hansie Cronje as the person who offered him a bribe to under perform against India. CBI has recorded the statements of Kapil Dev, BCCI president A C Muthiah, secretary Jaywant Lele, treasurer Kishore Rungta, Delhi Cricket Association Secretary Sunil Dev, former BCCI president I S Bindra, Ajit Wadekar, cricketers Manoj Prabhakar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Nayan Mongia, Ajay Jadeja, Prashant Vaidya, Ajay Sharma, Nikhil Chopra and Sachin Tendulkar among others. The agency has confirmed that the inquiry into the scandal, which sullied the image of cricket, reveals the names of six top players, including two former captains, besides officials and bookies. Media has been speculating over the past few days about the 'culprits' to be named in the report. Among those who have reportedly been indicted by the CBI are Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma, Nayan Mongia and former physiotherapist Ali Irani. However, the sources refused to confirm whether the report also names a few foreign cricketers saying, ''This can't be disclosed right now as the report is pending submission.'' Media reports had indicated that the report names three West Indian and two Australian cricketers.If the allegations against these cricketers turn out to be true, their international career could be sealed as life bans are likely to be imposed against them. They also face the possibility of their performance being erased from the record books. BCCI has made it clear that it would adopt a very stringent approach on the matter and the punishment could be harsh.The agency started its probe into the scandal on May 2 after the government directed it to go into the roots of the controversy.

UNI

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