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Dean Jones denies hand in match-fixing

Published: Thursday, November 2, 2000, 0:00 [IST]
 
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Sydney: Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones denied being involved in cricket match-fixing even as media reports said his name has come up in the report prepared by India's premier investigating agency after a four-month probe into match-fixing allegations in Indian cricket. "I'm obviously surprised about this. In what way has my name been brought up?" Jones told Melbourne radio station Sport 927 Wednesday. Jones had recently applied for the post of Indian cricket team's coach. "In 1992 there was a well-documented situation where I was approached by a bookmaker and by an Indian player. Most of the Australian players know who that guy was, so whether they used me to throw a bit of dirt around, I don't know. All my books are open, anyone can go through my place," Jones said. Newspaper reports have suggested that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report has mentioned Jones and fellow Australians Shane Warne and Mark Waugh as being involved in fixing matches. Warne and Waugh had confessed to accepting money from an Indian bookmaker in Colombo in 1995. Both were fined and reprimanded by the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) for their "stupid" act. Jones came out in support of Mohammed Azharuddin and Kapil Dev, saying they had acquired their wealth through other means and not match-fixing. "Kapil Dev makes a lot of money being the broker in the deal which takes Australian coal into India," Jones told the Melbourne radio station. The CBI has reportedly given a clean chit to Kapil. "Blokes like Azharuddin, who is married to a movie star, make a lot of money. This is the big problem. People make big money in India," Jones said in defense of Kapil and Azhar. "I go there quite regularly. Shooting arrows at everyone is not fair and not right," he added. The inclusion of Jones' name has shocked cricket pundits and followers here as he is considered to be a "clean" sportsperson. The allegation against former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has also raised eyebrows. Jones has a long-standing relationship with the Indian subcontinent and is a regular visitor to India. He was among the first whistleblowers on corrupt cricket practices in 1992. After Jones revealed that an Indian bookmaker had offered him money, current ACB chief executive Malcolm Speed had talked to the Australian batsman and cleared him of any wrongdoing. India Abroad News Service

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