Bookies still raking in big bounty, claims Latif

Published: Friday, September 27, 2002, 0:27 [IST]
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New Delhi: Bookmakers are making a lot more money from cricket despite a crackdown by the sport's world governing body, according to the player who first exposed the match-fixing racket.

Pakistani wicket-keeper Rashid Latif, however, told a Website he "did not know" if cricketers were still in league with bookmakers. "They (bookies) are very much there, only the method has changed," Latif was quoted as saying by the Indian Website. "With the International Cricket Council (ICC) keeping a close watch on the players and the bookies, they now bet on things like how many runs would be scored in the first 15 overs, or which bowler would take how many wickets, or who will hit a hundred and things like that." Asked if players were still involved with bookies, Latif said, "I don't know about the players now. All I can tell you at this stage is the bookies are very much in the market and making a lot more money out of cricket." Latif risked both his career and life when he accused former Pakistani captain Salim Malik of fixing matches on a tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe in 1995. Latif was thrown out of the team and reinstated only after a judicial inquiry was conducted at home which resulted in Malik being banned from the game for life. Latif's revelations, followed by the startling admission by former South African captain Hansie Cronje that he took money from bookmakers, caused a worldwide investigation into cricket's biggest scandal. Cronje, Malik and ex-India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin were banned for life by their respective national boards. Cronje died in a plane crash in South Africa earlier this year. The ICC set up an anti-corruption unit two years ago under the charge of former London Metropolitan police chief Paul Condon to free the sport of betting and match- fixing. Condon has promised a corruption-free World Cup to be held in South Africa in February-March next year. Latif said he wanted to work with the ICC once he retired from international cricket. "I had made it a mission to clean the game and I think I can contribute to the anti-corruption unit," Latif said.

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