हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Investigators deny beating groundsman

Published: Monday, November 6, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: Indian investigators have rejected claims that a groundsman named in the inquiry into cricket match-fixing had been beaten into saying he had doctored a Test match pitch. According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report released last week, Ram Adhar confessed that former Test cricketer Ajay Sharma gave him 50,000 rupees (740 pounds) to prepare a result-oriented pitch for the 1996 India-Australia game in Delhi. Adhar, groundsman at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla ground, said federal investigators had forced him to make a false confession, saying CBI officers had beaten him and told him to confess. But CBI spokesman S M Khan said, "that's totally wrong. If we had hit him he should have complained about it before. He made his statement freely and without coercion." Adhar said he had been approached only for information about the pitch by Sharma but denied taking any money from him. "They were hitting me on my legs with a stick and threatening me. I confessed to save myself from the torture," he said. Adhar said he was taken by Sharma to Delhi's Raj Ghat, a riverside memorial to independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, in 1996. "I went with him because I had known him for a long time," said Adhar, who has spent more than 25 years at the Kotla ground. "He introduced me to a friend of his," he said. "They made me sit in their car and asked me how the pitch would play. I told them it would play fast. They wanted to know if it would help spinners." Adhar, who draws a monthly salary of about 6,000 rupees (89 pounds), said he told them the nature of the wicket depended on the chief groundsman for the match (Radhey Shyam Sharma). "They dropped me back after that. They did not offer me any money. I swear I received no money from them," he said. Ajay Sharma said the incident never took place. "I did not take any groundsman in my car," Sharma said. "In fact I don't even know who he is. I might know him by face, but I cannot not place the name." (c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions


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