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Thatscricket - News - Chawla released due to lack of evidence

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2001, 3:30 [IST]
 
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London: Police has released without charge a London-based Indian businessman who was being questioned in connection with alleged payments to disgraced South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje.No further action is to be taken against 33-year-old Sanjeev Chawla because Scotland Yard said there was "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction."Officers from the Metropolitan Polices Serious and Organised Crime Group arrested Chawla, from north London, last December.He was interviewed at a central London police station and had been bailed to return on Wednesday but a police spokeswoman said police inquiries have now been concluded.The Scotland Yard investigation started after an allegation of attempted corruption was reported by a player to the England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) last August.Police inquiries were also sparked off after Cronje admitted receiving money from Chawla during the final Test against England at Centurion Park, Pretoria, in January 2000. Cronje was later sacked as South Africa's captain.The decision to release Chawla without charge comes only days after LordPaul Condon, the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption commissioner, claimed that match-fixing still exists on the international scene.Condon also claimed at a press briefing at Lords last Monday that a photograph of an unnamed bookie spotted in advance of the recent England-Pakistan matches had been circulated to the relevant authorities. Condon had earlier said how pleased he was that the ICC had backed his 24 proposals to rid the game of corruption. But Condon warned, "My own view is that things are still going on within matches."He added, "Sadly I do think events have been fixed in the last year. There are a small number of matches and a small number of players involved."IANS

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