Gibbs to face googlies albeit on different pitch

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:South Africa's Champions Trophy squad threw a security blanket around Herschelle Gibbs after he arrived in India to be probed for match-fixing allegations.

Gibbs arrived in Mumbai where the South Africans are based for the 10-nation tournament and was promptly whisked away to the team hotel to avoid a large contingent of mediamen stationed at the airport.

Team officials declined to entertain questions on Gibbs and did not allow him to be interviewed by the media, saying he was tired after the long journey from Johannesburg and needed rest.

Gibbs, who was accompanied by lawyers and arrived four days after the rest of the South African squad landed, is set to be questioned by Delhi police over match-fixing allegations dating back to 2000.

Gibbs was fined and suspended for six months by South African cricket authorities after he admitted accepting money from disgraced former captain Hansie Cronje to under-perform during a one-day international on the 2000 tour of India.

He subsequently scored 74 runs in that game and said later he had "forgotten" about the deal.

Cronje, who admitted to receiving money from illegal bookmakers but denied he was involved in match-fixing, was banned for life. He was killed in a plane crash near Cape Town in 2002.

Gibbs declined to travel to India with South African teams for six years fearing his arrest by Indian police, but agreed to play in the Champions Trophy and be questioned.

Confusion reigned over the likely venue of the police interrogation.

New Delhi police officials had told AFP on Tuesday that Gibbs will be questioned in the Indian capital on Thursday.

But Cricket South Africa spokesperson Tshepo Tsotsotso was quoted as saying in the Indian media from Johannesburg that Gibbs was unlikely to move away from Mumbai.

"According to my information, Gibbs will be in Mumbai where he will be interviewed by the Indian police," Tsotsotso was quoted as saying.

South Africa face New Zealand in their first Champions Trophy match at the Brabourne stadium here on Monday.


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