Sleuths still on trail of Indian players

Published: Friday, May 25, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: The cricket match-fixing probe in India is far from over. Sleuths are still hot on the trail of cricketers and officials, armed with fresh leads into their alleged links with the underworld. "We have various leads which throw light on the seamier side of cricket. Investigations show some cricketers and officials have links with underworld," a top official of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told IANS. CBI sources said the agency, during its four-month-long probe last year into allegations of match-fixing in Indian cricket, stumbled upon "enough evidence" to show that the underworld was heavily into "gambling and placing bets" on matches. Paul Condon, chief of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit, has said in his just published report that his work in the next 12 months will include supporting CBI investigations into the links between organised crime and match fixing. "We know that some cricketers were contacted and in turn approached members of the underworld for match-fixing. We have records to prove it," the CBI source said, adding they had proof to show that cricketers and officials were heavily into match fixing. "All is not over. We are now concentrating to unveil the truth and want to expose the links of some of these people to rid the game of dangerous implications," said R N Sawani, the CBI joint director who investigated and later submitted a 162-page report on match-fixing. The official, however, said the investigations would take more time, as various aspects have to be verified. "We are not sure when the investigations would get over." He refused to name the cricketers and officials being investigated. "During last year's questioning, we had talked to them about it. There were enough hints about the involvement of the underworld in match-fixing and we cannot turn a blind eye to it," said another CBI official. CBI sources said the agency would also probe illegal foreign exchange transactions, involvement of gangsters in gambling and undeclared assets of cricketers and officials. An official said although Ali Irani, former physiotherapist of the Indian team, had told CBI that former captain Mohammed Azharuddin was "doing" matches for gangster Anees Ibrahim, there was a need to prove the charges. "We can't rely on wild statements. It could be just hearsay. We need to probe the matter." Extras:
CBI keen to work with ACU on fix probe
Match-fixing saga

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