Under-probe Samuels can play World Cup: ICC

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:West Indian cricketer Marlon Samuels will be allowed to play in next month's World Cup despite an ongoing probe of his links with an alleged bookmaker, the sport's governing body said.

"If he is selected by the West Indies, Samuels is free to play in the World Cup," International Cricket Council (ICC) spokesman Brian Murgatroyd told reporters in the central city of Nagpur on Wednesday.

"The ICC's anti-corruption unit is investigating the case. No time frame has been set for the probe to end."

The 15-man squads for the World Cup, which opens in the Caribbean on March 13, have to be submitted to the ICC by Wednesday.

Nagpur police said last week they had tapped conversations in which Samuels had passed on team information to a man suspected of being a bookie during last month's one-day series in India.

According to the police, Samuels had five conversations with the suspected bookmaker, identified in the calls as Mukesh Kochar, from his hotel room in Nagpur ahead of the January 21 match.

The police added there was no evidence money had changed hands and it had only brought it to the notice of cricket authorities because it was a violation of the ICC's code of conduct, which bars players from dealing with bookmakers.

Samuels has admitted he has known Kochar for the past six years but did not believe he was a bookmaker. The Dubai-based Kochar told the Indian media he was not a bookie and that Samuels was like "a son" to him.

An ICC team spent four days in Nagpur this month to obtain details from the police and cricket officials.

Cricket was embroiled in a match-fixing scandal in 2000 when New Delhi police tapped conversations between former South African captain Hansie Cronje and an Indian bookmaker during a Test and one-day series in India.

Cronje and two other former captains, Mohammad Azharuddin of India and Salim Malik of Pakistan, were banned for life.


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