Thatscricket - News - ICC play down Mark Waugh's refusal

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday played down the controversy sparked by Mark Waugh's refusal to co-operate with Australia's top match-fixing investigator.The Australian batsman decided, on the advice of his lawyers, to decline an interview with Greg Melick, the Australian Cricket Board's special investigator.Melick and the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) chief Sir Paul Condon had planned to interview Waugh early next month over match-fixing allegations contained in an Indian police report.The decision has sparked a storm of controversy in Australia where even the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive Malcolm Speed has expressed his disappointment.But, despite initially warning they would take a "very dim view" of non-cooperation, the ICC believe it is just a matter of time before Waugh complies."The reaction in Australia is greater than it is here. He has such a high profile over there, but I think we can produce a more measured response," said ICC spokesman Mark Harrison."I think in a sense that it is legal posturing from his advisers. They are saying it is not a criminal inquiry so he can't be forced into answering the allegations. As far as the ACU is concerned, this is no big panic."The ICC will not give the matter up and do intend to continue their inquiries into the allegations made by bookmaker Mukesh Kumar Gupta to India's Central Bureau of Investigation."We would like to see Waugh and for him to speak with Greg Melick to form a view about it. We have a meeting scheduled in Melbourne when we will speak in more detail about it with the ACB and we will take it from there," Harrison said."I think that he will want some advance details of what will be discussed so that he can prepare a response."Waugh's situation presents particular difficulties because it was revealed in 1998 that he and Shane Warne had accepted money for weather and pitch information four years previously.Despite Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Indian cricket authorities calls for the pair to be banned for life, both men were only fined.

Copyright AFP 2000

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