Thatscricket - News - Mark to face investigators on Saturday
Published: Friday, February 9, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2000
Mark to delay interview with ACB investigator
Sydney: Batsman Mark Waugh will be interviewed on Saturday by investigators probing cricket's betting and match-rigging scandal as he prepares to leave for India with the Australian team. The twin brother of Australian captain Steve Waugh and a star batsman in his own right, Mark Waugh is at the centre of the storm that has cast a dark pall over his career and a cloud over the all-conquering Australian cricket team.The sub-continent is where Waugh first became mired in the scandal, and where Waugh and the Australian team begin a three-match Test series in Mumbai (Bombay) on February 27.A lawyer Greg Melick, representing the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), and the International Cricket Council (ICC), is investigating the key allegations made by Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta against Waugh.Gupta told Indian police that Waugh accepted $ 20,000 in payments from him in return for team, weather and pitch information in the early 1990s.Since then, the scandal has rippled throughout the cricket-playing world, claiming South African test captain Hansie Cronje as its most high-profile scalp.Indian players Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja have also been banned, but are fighting court battles to be reinstated to the Indian team as its prepares for the Test series against Australia.Waugh, 35, has previously admitted he was paid $ 4,000 by a bookie known to him as "John"-an alias used by Gupta in Sri Lanka in 1994 for pitch and weather information.Along with teammate Shane Warne, Waugh was fined by the ACB in 1995 for that indiscretion, although the disciplinary action taken by the Board was kept secret until 1998.While Waugh is interviewed, the head of the ICC anti-corruption unit, Sir Paul Condon, will be making preparations of his own to brief the ICC Executive Board on Saturday on the progress of his investigation.Waugh conceded late last month that the scandal which has dogged him in recent seasons has added to the pressures of playing cricket for his country, although he has been invariably rated among the most gifted of batsmen."It hasn't been the best week, I guess, obviously there's some pressure there," Waugh told reporters in Adelaide after he reversed his earlier refusal to cooperate with Condon's investigators.But he said his colleagues in the Australian team members continued to support him. "They're going about their business as normal and so am I."ACB boss Malcolm Speed welcomed Waugh's change of mind, saying "the investigators were entitled to go in and conduct their investigation as they saw fit with as few restraints as possible.""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," Speed said.