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Thatscricket - News - TV rights scam: CBI team to meet ICC officials

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: A two-member team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is leaving for London on Monday to gather inputs and hold discussions with International Cricket Council (ICC) officials on the alleged rigging of television rights for sports events between 1996 and 1999, including the last edition of the Cricket World Cup in England.A senior CBI official said on Saturday that the team, comprising Deputy Inspector General S P Singh and a Superintendent of Police, will make a week-long visit to Britain with a special task to probe the multi-million rupees TV rights scam, in which an Indian company had been a beneficiary and Doordarshan lost a huge amount. ''The team will leave for London on June 25 to hold discussions with the ICC officials and carry out investigations into the TV rights scam case,'' he said. The team, which was supposed to have left for London last month but postponed its visit due to some 'unexplainable reasons', would try to establish how the TV rights for the World Cup were acquired at a much lower price and who were the people behind it. Besides other ICC officials, the team would hold wideranging discussions on the subject with chief of ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) Paul Condon. The visit of the CBI team comes close on the heels of the ACU officials' visit to New Delhi a couple of days ago to question bookie Mukesh Gupta alias MK.The agency officials are also likely to talk to Paul Condon about his investigation into the allegations of corruption in granting of telecast rights to various companies. The ACU of the ICC in its first report on match-fixing, had stated that it was forming a group consisting of many investigating agencies, including the CBI, to probe match-fixing instances and TV rights violation cases. The ICC promised its assistance to the CBI in probing these cases in India or abroad.The tournaments for which the alleged bungling took place were French Open tennis championship, 1997, Wimbeldon 1997 tennis tournament, Independence Cup cricket tournament in 1997, the 1998 ICC Knockout cricket tournament and the cricket World Cup last year.A specific brief of the CBI team would be to collect information about the operations and activities of the WorldTel, headed by sports promoter Mark Mascarenhas, who had been in the eye of storm ever since the CBI conducted raids at his residences and business establishments in India as part of the probe into the case.Mascarenhas was called by the agency for questioning earlier last month in connection with the raids and the allegations of his involvement in the matter. The chief of the Worldtel, which recently signed Indian batting genius Sachin Tendulkar for a one billion five-year contract, is scheduled to be called once again for a detailed interrogation after the CBI team returns from London. The CBI on November 13 last year had also raided the office and residence of former ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya and six top serving and retired officials of Doordarshan in connection with the case. UNI

Extras:
Stewart likely to be cleared of fixing charges
Focus: Match-fixing
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