Scope of ICC probe is wide, says Condon

Published: Monday, April 30, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo: Players named in an Indian match-fixing probe will be investigated beyond the allegations made public against them, the head of the ICC's anti-corruption panel, Sir Paul Condon said on Monday.

The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption panel headed by Sir Paul was assisting the local cricket authorities to probe allegations first made in a report by India's Central Bureau of Investigations.

Sir Paul, who arrived here on Saturday in connection with an ongoing inquiry against former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva, said the scope of the probe would be much wider.

Asked whether the investigations would be confined to the Indian CBI report released last year, Sir Paul said it would probe matters not mentioned by the Indian investigators.

"There would be a whole realm of charges and not confined to the CBI report... It will expand to further material that would not be in the public domain."

He said all Test playing nations were affected by the allegations and the investigations by Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies were at different stages, but they would all go beyond the CBI report.

Condon said he hoped to travel to Pakistan in a few weeks to assist an inquiry there.

He said he expected his five-member investigation team would be able to minimise the level of corruption that had plagued the game for the past 20 years and restore public confidence in cricket.

"When a catch is missed or an out is given, people are now second guessing if it was fixed," Condon said adding that the problem was wide-spread, but they had also uncovered a wealth of information about bribing.

Condon dismissed allegations that the ongoing investigations in several countries were in fact trying to whitewash the players implicated in taking bribes to throw matches.

"I would not be a part of any cover up," Condon said. "I can assure you that our investigations will be independent. Nobody will be sacred. Nothing will be kept from my inquiry."

He said two former Scotland Yard detectives in the anti-corruption unit would remain in Sri Lanka for a week and assist Sri Lanka's own investigations into charges against Ranatunga and De Silva.

Both will be interviewed separately on Tuesday and Wednesday in the presence of ICC's anti-corruption investigators whose visit to Sri Lanka was delayed by over two months due to the England tour here.

Sir Paul met with the head of Sri Lanka's interim cricket board, Vijaya Malalasekara, on Sunday and Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella and Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon.

Kiriella has vowed to co-operate with the ICC to probe allegations of match fixing against local players.

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