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Thatscricket - News - ACU meets CBI, seeks MKs co-operation

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: An International Cricket Council (ICC) team is here seeking cooperation from suspected bookmaker M K Gupta who has accused a string of cricketing stars of taking bribes to throw away matches.The team has met officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), whose investigation into match-fixing has been widely hailed. Martin Hawkins heads the ICC team."The team met our officials on Wednesday. The talks covered a visit CBI is due to make," CBI spokesman S M Khan said.CBI sources said the ICC visit could be in connection with the July 1 deadline set by Paul Condon, who heads the ICC's Anti Corruption Unit (ACU), for Gupta to turn a witness.Condon said on Monday in London that Gupta, who has accused several international cricketers of being corrupt, should back up his allegations. "If we do not hear from him, we must assume he is not prepared to cooperate further. Gupta will agree to be formal witness or he won't. This should not drag on forever."Condon has promise to provide security to Gupta if he gives testimony in India or elsewhere. Gupta owns a jewelry shop in south Delhi.Gupta's evidence in India has already been crucial in ending the careers of South African Hansie Cronje and Mohammad Azharuddin, both former captains.Other cricketers named by Gupta include Australian Mark Waugh, Sri Lankans Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva, New Zealander Martin Crowe and England captain Alec Stewart.Gupta's role in match-fixing came to light after Cronje named him in his testimony before the King Commission, set up by the South African government to probe cricket corruption.After Cronje's testimony, Gupta went into hiding. But he later gave a detailed statement to the CBI. Gupta, better known to many as M K or John, had also named Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma as bribe takers.His allegations became crucial evidence for the CBI, which quoted him extensively in its report on match-fixing.Azharuddin and Sharma have been banned for life from playing cricket. A five-year ban has been imposed on Prabhakar and Ajay Jadeja.IANS

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