Batting supremo Gibbs, Boje slam door on India

Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg:Batting supremo Herschelle Gibbs and fellow all-rounder Nicky Boje are out of South Africa's tour to India, again over fears of arrest for matchfixing which has haunted them for the last five years.

"Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje will not tour India with the national team in November," said South African Cricketers Association (SACA) chief executive Tony Irish on Monday.

"This follows attempts by Cricket South Africa, SACA and the players' legal advisors to clarify the intentions of the Indian police in relation to these players should they visit India," Irish said in a statement issued in Johannesburg.

The right-handed Gibbs, who has scored 4697 Test runs for South Africa with an average of 48.42, has already told cricket officials that he would not be available for the tour to the sub-continent.

"Despite attempts, no clarity on what would happen to Gibbs and Boje could be obtained," Irish said.

Indian police are probing Gibbs and Boje's alleged involvement in a match fixing scandal dating back to 2000.

Implicated in the same scandal was former skipper Hansie Cronje, who admitted involvement on his part and was served with a life ban before dying in a plane crash in southern South Africa in 2002.

Both Gibbs and Boje have received questionnaires by the Delhi police and were said to fear arrest if they went to India.

Attempts to find clarity included an approach through diplomatic channels as well as a meeting between Delhi police and Delhi-based lawyers representing the players.

"Despite this, however, we are still not able to determine the intentions of the police and whether or not the safety and freedom of these players can be guaranteed," said Irish.

"It is extremely unfortunate because it is clear to me that Nicky has never done anything wrong and the Indian police won't tell us what they think he might have done wrong.

"As far as Herschelle is concerned, he paid for what he did years ago by serving a ban which was sanctioned by the ICC at time," Irish said.

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