Alleged bookie serves legal notice on ICC

Published: Thursday, August 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:An Indian businessman Jagdish Sodha has served a legal notice on International Cricket Council (ICC) for allegations that he was a cricket bookie linked to former Kenya captain Maurice Odumbe, who has been banned for five years from the game.

The notice, issued by Sodha's lawyer Mukesh Vashi, has called upon ICC to withdraw the allegations forthwith or else face civil and criminal proceedings in the courts of law.

Sodha, claiming to be a film distributor and real estate agent, said in the notice that he was shocked to read in newspapers that ICC's preliminary inquiry had found Odumbe's involvement with him (Sodha). He further said the newspaper report described him as an alleged bookie.

ICC, in a reply, confirmed that a disciplinary hearing against Odumbe was pending and that it was an internal matter and within the remit of ICC. As a governing body for the sport of cricket the ICC was duty bound to do everything in its power to protect the sport from conduct of corrupt nature, which is prejudicial to the interests of the game, ICC said.

The reply, written by ICC lawyer Urvasi Naidoo, said ICC had itself not published any information regarding Sodha and had not named him in its press releases regarding the inquiry.

ICC said its anti-corruption and security unit have conducted thorough investigations and have conclusive evidence from legitimate law enforcement entities in both India and England that Sodha is linked to bookmaking in India.

ICC further said that if Sodha initiated legal action, as mentioned in the notice, then he would be forced to face evidence in rebuttal from both Indian police as well as metropolitan police and that would lead to increased publicity for him.

In a rejoinder, Sodha's lawyer Mukesh Vashi wrote back to ICC saying that he was not satisfied with ICC's reply and that the allegations of Sodha being a bookie was also on the internet besides print media.

He also called upon ICC to submit evidence of Sodha being a bookie failing which it would face legal action.

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