हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Azhar proclaims innocence: Muthiah

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: Former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin on Tuesday pleaded innocence before the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) disciplinary committee saying he was never involved in match fixing.''I am an honest cricketer. I brought lot of fame to the country. I was never involved in any match-fixing,'' he said before the three-member committee.Also appearing before the committee during the day were Nayan Mongia, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja, Ajay Sharma and physiotherapist Ali Irani, who had been indicted by the CBI and BCCI's Special Commissioner K Madhvan.The committee, comprising BCCI chief Dr A C Muthiah and vice-presidents Kamal Morarka (Mumbai) and Ramprasad (Karnataka), heard the views of the players and Ali Irani.The whole procedings took nearly six hours. While Manoj Prabhakar and Jadeja talked to the media persons, others just slipped away without making any comment.Briefing the crowded press conference at the end, Dr Muthiah said Azhar simply denied having said anything to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about match-fixing. He denied his involvement and had nothing to say about Madhvan's report. Dr Muthiah quoted Azhar saying that he was honest player, who never cheated the country but instead brought laurels to it. Saying that BCCI's internal inquiry on match-fixing and betting was complete, Dr Muthiah said the Disciplinary Committee gave a last chance to the players and Ali Irani to give their view on Madhavan report.He asserted that nobody denied the Madhavan report and added that final decision on punishment to the 'tainted players' will be taken at the special general body meeting of the BCCI to be held at Calcutta on Wednesday.Asked if Madhavan report will be made public, Dr Muthiah said "Let me first discuss it with my colleagues in the BCCI, it is a in house inquiry report and it depends whether members will like it to be released or not".Mr K Madhavan who was also present at the press conference said, "It is up to BCCI to release the report, I have no power to release it."He also refuted Manoj Prabhakar's assertion that he (Madhavan) did not listen to his complaints against Kapil Dev ,"It is not true, I heard what Manoj had to say but as BCCI Commissioner I'm entitled to accept or reject certain views."Mr Madhavan said there is sufficient (not conclusive) proof of Azhar being involved in match-fixing while there is enough evidence to prove the nexus between other players and bookies. While Ajay Jadeja was speaking to the crowd of reporters and TV cameracrews, Mohammed Azharuddin slipped away from the hotel, as he had entered it this morning, unnoticed other than by camera crews and photographers stationed near the hotel's service entrance.In his report, Mr Madhavan has said, "Azhar had close contacts and nexus with bookies/ punters like M K Gupta, Ajay Gupta, Gyan Gupta and Ameesh Gupta and was involved in match-fixing."He is guilty of unbecoming conduct and misconduct as a national level player in maintaining such frequent contacts with bookies/ punters," and "In his case, the misconduct is aggravated, as he was the captain of the Indian team for long and let down the country and the cricket loving public in a despicable manner." UNI

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