हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Lanka seek help as bookie shuns probe

Published: Monday, December 11, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Colombo: Sri Lanka's top match-fixing investigator is to meet two Indian ministers this week after a key bookmaker refused to co-operate with his probe, the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) announced on Sunday.Desmond Fernando, who is investigating allegations against former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva, asked to interview bookmaker, M K Gupta, but the man refused to co-operate."Having been informed that Mr Gupta has refused to speak with anyone on this issue, Mr Fernando will meet with India's minister of Sports as well as the minister of Law," BCCSL said in a statement.International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption chief, Sir Paul Condon, is also scheduled to join Sri Lanka's Fernando in holding talks with Indian ministers on Tuesday and Wednesday in New Delhi.Earlier this month Fernando said he had asked the Indian High Commission (embassy) to help arrange an interview with Gupta.Fernando, who had been given a one-month deadline by Sri Lanka's Cricket Control Board to investigate the allegations contained in a report by India's Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), said he might need more time.Fernando, a lawyer by profession and Sri Lanka's representative in the ICC's Code of Conduct Committee, also travelled to London for talks with ICC officials.Sri Lanka's former vice captain, Aravinda de Silva, has said he was approached by bookmakers with offers to fix matches, but he denied accepting bribes.De Silva, who allegedly accepted $ 15,000 in 1994 to lose a Test match in favour of neighbouring India, flatly denied ever taking money although he had been approached to fix matches.Sri Lanka's Ranatunga, 36, who retired from international cricket in August, said he had never had any dealings with bookmakers nor was he ever offered money to throw matches.However bookmaker Gupta claimed in a testimony published in a CBI report that Ranatunga and De Silva helped him fix an Indian victory in the Lucknow Test in 1994.Gupta had said De Silva was paid $ 15,000, but it was not clear if there were any direct allegations against Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to World Cup victory in 1996.Copyright AFP 2000

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