हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

First step: BCCI bans players for 15 days

Published: Saturday, November 4, 2000, 1:20 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: While pointing out "a lot of inaccuracies" in the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) report on match-fixing in Indian cricket, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Dr A C Muthiah suspended the five players accused of being involved in the scandal for 15 days from playing any type of cricket, pending its own inquiry. All five players - Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma and Nayan Mongia - will not be allowed to play in any match/ tournament organised by the BCCI, national or international, during this period.Soon after pronouncing the suspension, Dr Muthiah met Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa in the afternoon and told him that the BCCI would get back to him with its reply. "The BCCI has said that it will reply within 15 days with a point-by-point written remark (regarding the said inaccuracies)," Dhindsa said. "But it (the BCCI) is as concerned at what has happened as we are."The minister said that the BCCI president had promised him that the Board would fully co-operate with the government. Mr Dhindsa was also convinced with the information that Dr Muthiah provided him on the steps being taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to eradicate the malaise of match-fixing from Indian cricket and the world at large. "Mr Muthiah has informed me that the ICC's vigilance commission is meeting in London next month (to chalk out a strategy to stop any malpractice)," Mr Dhindsa said.Dr Muthiah said that the Board's Disciplinary Committee would meet within 15 days, in consultation with former CBI joint director K Madhavan, whom the BCCI has appointed as its one-man inquiry commission, and forward his recommendations to the all-powerful Working Committee of the Board to decide on whether the players could be banned or pardoned.Incidentally, the first Test match against the visiting Zimbabwe team will be played from November 18 at Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla, and the BCCI reply will most probably take a decision on the tainted players before the match. However, Dr Muthiah did not say when the Disciplinary Committee would meet and did not commit on what could be the length of the probable ban. "It could happen," he said, in response to a question if life ban was a probability. He pointed out that Mr Madhavan would have to recommend the ban. "Mr Madhavan is already in touch with Mr Condon (head of ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit)," he said.Before going into meeting with Mr Dhindsa, Dr Muthiah made the Board's viewpoint on the report clear. "There are a lot of inaccuracies in the report," he said, while "appreciating the work done" by the agency. "I do not agree with the report when it says that the BCCI officials were aware of match-fixing. "May be, some players were wrong...there may be some involvement of the players. But except for the Kanpur match (the 1994 One-day International between India and West Indies) no other match was manipulated," he said.On the impending Income Tax report on the raids conducted on the residences and other premises of several players, cricket officials and bookies, Mr Dhindsa said that it would be submitted soon. "It was a decision taken suo motto by them, and it is their job," he said, refraining to give a categorical reply. However, there was talk that the report would be submitted to Mr Dhindsa on Monday.The Sports minister also avoided a categorical reply on whether the government awards, like Arjuna Awards, would be taken back, in case any player is found guilty. He said the government would explore the need to formulate a new law to deal with match-fixing only after the discussing the CBI report in Parliament, during the upcoming winter session.Dr Muthiah, while replying to a question whether the players could be pardoned, simply said, "Whether they can be, I cannot commit anything now."Specifically talking about Jadeja, the Board president said: "It all depends what his fault is. If he is not found guilty, we will have to be mild."On the Indian team's scheduled tour of Pakistan, the minister said a decision would be taken after some time. He also did not distinguish between an Indian team's tour of Pakistan and that country's tour to India. "Both are the same things," he said, when asked if the government would clear the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) proposal to send its team to India if the Indian government declines permission to its own national team.Dr Muthiah, however, said after the meeting that the ministry had promised him a quick reply. "They said that they will reply within a week," he said. "I requested him (Mr Dhindsa) even now (in the meeting)."India Abroad News Service

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