Windies rule out Lara 'fixing' probe

Published: Saturday, November 4, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
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Perth (Australia): West Indies cricket officials have ruled out their own investigation into allegations that former captain Brian Lara took money from a bookmaker to play badly.

West Indies coach Roger Harper said the West Indies Cricket Board would leave any investigations to the International Cricket Council even though several other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, have launched independent inquiries into claims against their players.

''If Brian comes out and tells you he's not involved, that's good enough for me,'' Harper said when the West Indian squad arrived on Saturday for a three-month tour of Australia. ''He's a member of this team and I have every reason to trust him...we're there for him as a team and we support him all the way.''

Lara, the world record holder for individual innings in Test and first-class cricket, has been accused by an Indian bookmaker of accepting $ 40,000 in return for under-performing in two One-day matches.

Lara has denied the allegations, made in a report by India's Central Bureau of Investigation, and refused to comment on the claims when he arrived in Perth.

West Indies manager Richard Skerritt said Lara had asked his lawyers to look at the allegations and had been told not to comment further. ''He's been in good spirits, but he's obviously a little bit distressed,'' Skerritt said.

''It's difficult for any player to have mud slung around him when they have categorically said they were not involved.''

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