Johannesburg: The United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) said on Wednesday it was aware of media reports that the Indian police are investigating possible illegal gambling during the current Test series between South Africa and India."We are obviously concerned about these reports, although we are not aware of any details," said UCBSA president Percy Sonn. "The UCB is committed to the efforts of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to eradicate corruption from cricket. We have reminded our players and team management once again about the need for them to be vigilant regarding possible approaches from bookmakers or others involved in gambling in cricket," Sonn said. "We have received no communication from the authorities in Delhi on the matter which is being reported in the media. However, we will assist with any possible investigations and will take our lead from the ICC," Sonn added. Mahendra Bhargava, manager of the Indian team, said from Bloemfontein, "I am not commenting until I hear something official from Delhi." Bhargava said he was unaware of any unusual activity concerning his players during their tour of South Africa. India lost to South Africa by nine wickets in the first Test in Bloemfontein on Tuesday. In New Delhi, Indian police said on Wednesday they were investigating whether an international syndicate was illegally betting on the current India-South Africa Test series following a police swoop on bookies. Police said they would also investigate whether any players from the two teams were involved in the gambling racket after three bookmakers in Delhi were arrested on Tuesday. The detectives said the arrests were made while the suspects were handling bets worth Rupees 5.4 million ($ 115,000) on behalf of domestic and overseas clients. "The betting was heavily in the favour of India even as South Africa were clearly poised to win the first Test," a senior crime branch source told. "This is absolutely puzzling." The two remaining Tests between India and South Africa will be played this month in Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. The Indian detectives said they were trying to find out if there were wider implications to Tuesday's bust. "We are currently questioning these three suspects to ascertain if a bigger and larger network of bookies are involved, and if any of the betting activity has links with any players," the source said. Personal computers, telephones and television sets were seized during the raid. The arrests followed a meeting last week between visiting ICC officials and Delhi police.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |