Odumbe~~s lawyer accuses ICC of hypocrisy

Published: Thursday, May 20, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Nairobi:A Kenyan lawyer has accused the International Cricket Council (ICC) of applying double standards in probing cases of match-fixing against players.

Making his objections in Nairobi in a preliminary hearing against former Kenyan captain Maurice Odumbe, lawyer Ishan Kapila said the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit had violated the rules of justice against his client.

"Although Odumbe had admitted his dealings with Indian businessman Jagdish Sodhi, whom he did not know was a bookmaker, he had not taken money to throw away matches," Kapila said.

"There is discrepancy in the attitude they have taken against a lesser known player when top cricketeers, who had open dealings with well-known bookmakers, have not been charged with any offence," Kapila said.

"The offence of inappropriate conduct against Odumbe is vaguely worded. It is not possible to get reasons that the sport of cricket has been brought into disrepute," he added.

Presiding over the hearing which lasted over four hours at a Nairobi hotel, former Zimbabwean High Court judge Ahmed Ebrahim set the ruling for July 27.

Kapila, a leading Kenyan criminal lawyer, said he would object to the allegations levelled against his client in his submissions at the ruling.

"The rules of justice have been violated. He is innocent of violating the secret code of conduct," Kapila said.

The 34-year-old Odumbe, who captained Kenya 20 times, faces a life ban if found guilty of the offence. He becomes the first player to be censured on charges linked to match-rigging since December 2000.

Odumbe had said that he had travelled to India on previous occasions to purchase medicine for his late brother and former international team-mate, Martin Orewa, to treat an AIDS-related ailment.

"I used to go to India often to buy medicine for my sick brother," said Odumbe, whose three other brothers also represented Kenya at the international cricket level.

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