Thatscricket - News - Mark accedes to ACB threat, is willing to talk

Published: Thursday, January 25, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne: Australian batsman Mark Waugh will talk to investigators probing cricket's match-fixing and illegal betting scandal, Waugh's manager Leo Karis said on Thursday.A letter was faxed to Australian Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive Malcolm Speed early on Thursday confirming Waugh had reconsidered his earlier refusal to be interviewed."I'm happy the undertaking has been received. "Mark's form is excellent and in the long term, generally, we have a good relationship with Mark," Speed said."We can't dictate to the investigators how they go about their business - they are independent and have a job to do and the fewer fences around them the better."However, the ACB chief hinted Waugh would face a grueling interrogation."Investigators don't normally telegraph their punches and they're not required to send a form listing all the questions and say tick the box," he said. "They are entitled to go in and conduct investigations as they see fit." Karis said Waugh's lawyer, Raff Pisano, would discuss the timing of the interview with ACB officials to set a time and place for the interview.He also said Waugh had always been willing to talk to the investigative team, headed by Britain's Sir Paul Condon, if he was supplied with an agenda for the interview.That information was provided late on Wednesday when the ACB wrote to Waugh. The letter, however, also contained a threat to drop the embattled batsman and twin brother to Australian captain Steve Waugh if he failed to agree to submit to an interview by this afternoon."Mark's always been willing to talk. The ACB have finally provided the information he requested," Karis told reporters.Waugh refused earlier this week to be interviewed by Australian Cricket Board investigator Greg Melick and his International Cricket Council colleagues.Waugh's lawyer, Pisano, told Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper that, "It is a pity that Mark had to be subjected to attacks on him before the ACB finally conceded his right to natural justice."It is unfortunate that the ACB has made its concession accompanied by the threat of a right to withdraw Mark's selection. With his rights to natural justice now vindicated, Mark will attend an interview with the investigators."Mark Waugh was named by Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta as the recipient of $ 20,000, which was paid in return for team and weather information in 1993.Waugh's change of mind occurred after ACB boss Speed advised him that the investigators wanted to question him about his level of contact with bookmakers, if he had received money from them, the amounts involved and the identity of any paymasters.He will now also be quizzed over the identities of current and former players involved in the scandal.

Copyright AFP 2000Extras:
Talk or you are out, ACB tells Mark Waugh

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