Madras: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Dr A C Muthiah said on Saturday that Test cricketers found guilty in a probe into match-fixing could be banned for life.Dr Muthiah made the statement in the southern city of Madras shortly after Mr K Madhavan, who grilled the cricketers during the investigation, submitted his findings to him."It'll depend on the seriousness of the crime and how the general body views it," Dr Muthiah said when asked if the tainted players could be banned for life. He said a life ban had not been ruled out, contrary to media speculation.The BCCI suspended the five players - Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma and Nayan Mongia - after a match-fixing report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was made public earlier this month.The BCCI had instituted an internal inquiry of its own, headed by former CBI joint director K Madhavan. Mr Madhavan, the Special Commissioner of the BCCI, said he would not recommend any punishment for the guilty players.When asked if the BCCI was also guilty of allowing corruption in cricket to flourish, Madhavan said, "Supervisory negligence cannot be same as participation in a crime."Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who federal investigators said confessed to match-fixing, on Thursday denied the charge and claimed he was innocent.He, however, did not reply when questioned about alleged bookmaker Mukesh Gupta, whom he reportedly introduced to former South African captain Hansie Cronje, a release from the website said.The CBI report said Azharuddin had admitted to fixing three One-day Internationals. He was among the five Indian cricketers and a host of international stars named in the report.
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