Thatscricket - News - Lara, Pakistanis to face probe: Condon

Published: Saturday, February 10, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne: West Indian master batsman Brian Lara will be questioned by cricket's anti-corruption investigators, the inquiry head, Sir Paul Condon said here on Saturday. And Pakistani cricket is headed for more turmoil after International Cricket Council president Malcolm Gray revealed a second judicial inquiry would begin there shortly, this time looking at allegations that Pakistan threw two matches in the 1999 World Cup in England.That inquiry will probe Pakistan's performances in defeats against India and tournament minnows Bangladesh. While Australian batsman Mark Waugh on Saturday appeared before the Australian Cricket Board's investigator Greg Melick to defend allegations made against him by illegal Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta, Lara has yet to face any probe despite also having been named in an Indian police report.While Waugh was accused of accepting $ 20,000 dollars from Gupta for supplying weather, team and pitch information, a charge he again denied Saturday, Lara was accused of under performing in two One-day matches in India in 1993-94.However, the West Indies' cricket board has so far refused to take any action on the matter, despite all other boards having launched inquiries into the allegations against their players. But Condon, speaking here on Saturday after briefing the ICC executive into his progress at curing cricket's ills, said an inquiry in the West Indies was imminent."Watch this space over the next few days," he said.Meanwhile, Gray said the new inquiry in Pakistan was expected to be completed soon."That will be in a matter of weeks - it should not be a long exercise," he said. That inquiry will deal with allegations made by South African cricket supremo Ali Bacher during the King Commission, which led to former captain Hansie Cronje being banned for life.Bacher alleged that Pakistan deliberately lost both matches.The inquiry will also look into Bacher's allegation that Pakistani umpire Javed Akhtar deliberately gave bad decisions to influence the result of a South Africa-England Test match.Meanwhile, Condon said he is aiming to complete his own report into cricket's bribery scandal by the end of April. However, his report will not deal with specific cases such as those allegations levelled against Waugh and Lara.They will be dealt with in individual reports by separate investigators, such as Melick, but with the full backing and assistance of the ICC."My report in April will be a general review of this whole scene," Condon said. "When it started, how it started, where it started, how it developed, why it wasn't picked up earlier and what we are doing about it now and what we should be doing about it in the future."Condon, who was appointed to clean up cricket last July, said the whole bribery saga was "a very unpleasant but necessary diversion that must be cleared up."He said it was vital to have it done as quickly as possible for the players against whom allegations were made and for the integrity of the sport. "A lot of the players are sick and tired of the innuendos," he said. "And they are sick and tired of having their names besmirched and sick and tired of the pressure placed on their families."Condon said while the saga opened up a legal minefield for all Test playing cricket boards, it had to be tackled to ensure the sport's credibility was restored. "This only needs to impact on one international match to impact on the credibility of cricket," he said."When people watch cricket they want to know it's about skill and craft and endeavour, not about a seedy mobile phone call and spread betting in India."Copyright AFP 2000

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