Speed denies request for bookies~~ arrest

Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:The International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed categorically denied that ICC has requested the Indian police to arrest alleged bookie Ratan Mehta.

"No, we have not made any specific request to India for the arrest of any person but our Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) keeps getting information and is working in liaison with the police of different countries," Speed said at a press conference.

Speed and ICC president Ehsan Mani are in Pakistan to attend an Asian Cricket Council (ACC) seminar on development of the game.

Speed was reacting to media reports in India that the ICC has written to the police for the arrest of Mehta.

He also revealed that Indian and Pakistan cricket Boards have written to the ICC to deal with all those former players who come up with allegations from time to time.

"The BCCI and the PCB have written to us to deal with such players and persons who make allegations without substantiating them but we do not have any code to deal with them," he said.

"All ICC wishes is that such people come up with evidence or keep silent."

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has termed the fourth One-day match of the recent India-Pakistan series as suspicious.

Speed said the ACU, formed in 2000, has been working vigilantly and reported back that the menace of match-fixing is under control.

"Sir Paul Condon, the ACU chief is a very respected and efficient person and he believes that the match-fixing menace in international cricket is under control but has not gone for ever," he said.

The ICC was forced to form the ACU in June 2000 after former South African captain Hansie Cronje admitted to taking money from bookmakers. Cronje, who died in 2002 in a plane crash, was banned for life after his conversation with a bookie was taped by Indian police during his team's tour of India in 2000.

Former Pakistan and Indian captain Salim Malik and Mohammed Azharuddin were also banned for life, which rocked the game of cricket.

"If we go back to 2000 there were a number of captains and players implicated in match- fixing and after realising the gravity we had to deal with it," Speed said.

"We still spend over one million pound every year on the ACU and security managers just to realise that it is the most menacing thing the game of cricket has confronted.

"India and Pakistan conducted inquiries and we at the ICC were satisfied with them but we are still vigilant and are aware that the menace has not gone for ever," he said.

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