Thatscricket - News - Gupta has nothing new to add, says associate
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2001, 3:30 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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New Delhi: Match-fixing investigators may draw a blank when they visit India later this week to question a bookmaker over allegations he paid money to England's cricket captain Alec Stewart. Mukesh Gupta, the bookmaker at the centre of the Stewart storm, is unlikely to turn witness or say anything new to the Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC), a close associate of Gupta said on Wednesday."Mukesh has nothing new to add to what he said earlier," the associate told AFP on condition of anonymity. "Does the ICC expect him to produce receipts or any other proof? It's their business to sort out the matter."The ICC's chief investigator Paul Condon warned last week that he will drop the inquiry against Stewart and other cricketers if Gupta refused to become a witness and provide evidence to the charges made by him. Condon has deputed a team to visit New Delhi this week to confront Gupta, who himself has refused to speak to the media since the scandal broke last year. The match-fixing report by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (ICC) quotes Gupta as saying he paid 5,000 Pounds to Stewart during England's tour in 1993 to provide information about the wicket and team composition.Gupta told the CBI he was introduced to Stewart by former Indian Test cricketer Manoj Prabhakar, but added the Englishman refused to fix any matches for him.Stewart, currently leading England in the absence of the injured Nasser Hussain, has repeatedly denied meeting Gupta or accepting money from any other bookmaker. Stewart, accused by Condon of delaying meetings with the ICC investigators, is expected to be questioned by the Anti Corruption Unit next week.The CBI report, based mainly on Gupta's testimony, led to a life ban being imposed on former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin and five-year suspensions on Ajay Jadeja, Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma.But Gupta remains a free man, because there are no provisions in the Indian law to charge match-fixers in sport.Among other international cricketers linked with Gupta in the CBI report are Brian Lara of the West Indies, Aravinda De Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga of Sri Lanka, Salim Malik of Pakistan and Australia's Dean Jones and Mark Waugh.The CBI, however, says it has no jurisdiction to investigate foreign players and has passed on all relevant information to Condon's ACU.