Gibbs confident India is back on the agenda

Published: Thursday, December 8, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Perth:South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs said he would go ahead with touring India next year if selected despite fears of being arrested there this season.

Gibbs decided against touring India last month with the team after being implicated in a match-fixing scandal with late South African captain Hansie Cronje.

But the attacking top-order batsman told reporters here Thursday that he would definitely tour next year, provided he had the form to be selected.

"What the UCB (United Cricket Board of South Africa) have told me is that it will be sorted out before the ICC Champions Trophy next year in India," Gibbs said. He was confident of making the trip "provided I'm making runs."

Gibbs and spin bowler Nicky Boje were two of the players implicated along with Cronje in 2000 amid allegations that they accepted money to deliberately play badly against India.

Boje has repeatedly denied the allegations but Gibbs was banned from cricket for six months. Cronje was banned for life but died in a plane crash in 2002.

Indian police said their investigations were continuing and could not guarantee that Gibbs and Boje would not be arrested had they taken part in the just completed tour.

Police want to interview both players over the scandal which came to light when they monitored phone calls made by Cronje.

Gibbs said he had put the incident behind him and did not regard it as a blemish on his career.

"No. It's been five years now. History is history, you cant change it. You get the odd chirp about it every now and again about it but you cant change it. Its bound to happen," he said.

The 30-year-old said he believed he still had a lot to offer the game but had to continue to improve on striking a balance between attacking and defending as a batsman.

"I'd like to think that I've still got four or five years of really good cricket left in me," he said.

"You have got to set your goals. If you dont quite accomplish them on a yearly basis you have got to look back and see where you are going wrong.

"For me its probably the mental side of it that Ive got to work on. But Ive found a really good balance over the last two or three years of defence and attack and I think if you speak to a lot of top-order batters that is the key."

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