Thatscricket - News - Mark Waugh cleared of match-fixing allegations
Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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[an error occurred while processing this directive]Melbourne: Australian Test batsman Mark Waugh was cleared on Tuesday of match-fixing allegations made by an Indian bookmaker.Australian Cricket Board (ACB) special investigator Greg Melick said he could find no evidence to support Indian bookie Mukesh Gupta's claims.The illegal bookie had alleged to Indian police that he paid Waugh $ 20,000 seven years ago for information about pitches, team, strategy and other matters whenever Australia played.Melick said he had not discovered any evidence that would allow Waugh to be charged under the ACB's Code of Behaviour."The investigation has been unable to unearth any credible evidence to support Mr Gupta or any evidence to contradict Mark Waugh," said Melick. "There was no single thing that tipped it in Mark's favour," he added."Even if Mr Gupta hadn't come forward there may have been a basis to lay charges with the supporting evidence."Often in an investigation, somebody makes an allegation, such as an informant who doesn't want to be named which then leads to a successful investigation. In this case there was just nothing." Gupta declined to be interviewed by Melick or to repeat his allegations against Waugh.Asked why he believed Gupta had declined to repeat his allegations, Melick replied, "You have to bear in mind that Mr Gupta would face some fairly serious charges in India if he gave evidence in such a way that could later be used against him."ACB chief executive James Sutherland said his recommendation to the ACB would be that no charges be laid against Waugh. Sutherland said he had contacted Waugh, in England with the Australian cricket team, with the news late on Monday.The bookmaker has implicated several leading players in match-fixing or accused them of receiving money for information.Gupta's evidence was crucial in ending the careers of former South African skipper Hansie Cronje and India's Mohammed Azharuddin.But other players named by Gupta England's Alec Stewart, former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe and Sri Lankans Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga have been cleared by inquiries in their own countries.All the players named by Gupta have denied the charges.West Indian Brian Lara remains the only player yet to be cleared of allegations.Gupta first made his allegations to Indian police, but after initially speaking to its investigators, he refused to give evidence before the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, leading the English, New Zealand and Sri Lankan inquiries to clear their players.Melick did ascertain that Gupta was not the same person as the bookie known as John or Pinky who approached Waugh and Shane Warne for pitch and weather information during a tour of Sri Lanka in 1994.