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Players, Cricket Australia reject Majeed's claims

Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 12:35 [IST]
 
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Players, CA reject Majeed's claims

Melbourne, Oct 11: The cricket world was hit by allegations of nexus between players and bookies but the two Indian players, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, who were mentioned in the reports as also Cricket Australia rubbished suggestions of any wrongdoings.

Pakistani players' agent Mazhar Majeed reportedly made the claims that he had "access" to Yuvraj and Harbhajan along with several other international players during his conversations with the now-closed 'New of the World' undercover reporter Mazhar Mehmood.

The recording of the conversation were played to a jury and the judge at Southwark Crown Court in London during the criminal trials of Pakistani cricketers, accused of spot-fixing.

While Harbhajan threatened action, Yuvraj simply ridiculed the report and Cricket Australia said the claims "appear to be outlandish and made by a person of dubious repute."

"I don't know who this person is, I have never met him. We will definitely take some action against him. I don't know whether it will be a legal action or whatever," Harbhajan said in Nagpur, where he is playing in the Challenger Series.

"But I will definitely bring it to BCCI's notice and I am sure that they will take right kind of action against these kind people who are trying to spoil the game," he added.

Yuvraj took to Twitter to rubbish the report. "And who is majid!! absolute rubbish! Don't know never met!" he wrote.

"The problem in India is if someone says a rooster has given an egg it will become news!! Whether its true or not its doesn't matter," he fumed.

According to media reports, Majeed named the two Indian cricketers along with a host of other international players, who have also rejected the reported claims.

The name-droppings took place during the fourth day of the trial of former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pacer Mohammad Asif, who are alleged to have bowled predetermined no balls for cash. Both the players have denied the charges.

Cricket Australia said the claims made by the alleged bookie seem "outlandish" as had there been any truth in them, CA would have known and acted.

"According to Majeed, Australian players were notorious for betting on 'brackets', periods of matches in which some bookmakers accept bets about how many runs would be scored," media reports said.

"These would appear to be baseless allegations, but at the same time cricket needs to stand very firm in its conviction against corruption in our sport. If there are allegations that have any sense of credibility around them then it's very important we take all of the necessary action to investigate," CA CEO James Sutherland said.

"If we charge players and find them guilty we will have no qualms about issuing a life sentence on players who are found guilty of match fixing," Sutherland added.

Sutherland said he would get in touch with the ICC to take stock of the match-fixing investigations.

"In my dealings with the ICC I'm very confident I would know and understand if there were concerns about Australian players, allegations about players or investigations afoot in regards to Australian players. I have heard none of that."

Meanwhile former Australian captain Ricky Ponting's manager dismissed Majeed's claims of having access to him while pacer Nathan Bracken has threatened legal action after their name also cropped up in the spot-fixing trial.

Bracken's manager Rob Horton said, "What a load of garbage, we have never heard of this guy. We have never met him. Nathan would never ever be involved in anything like that at all. He's thinking of taking legal action in London to protect his reputation," Horton said.

Ponting's manager, James Henderson, also dismissed Majeed's claim.

"We have never heard of him," Henderson said. Meanwhile, former Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis also denied any involvement in match fixing.

"There's nothing in it (the allegations)," he said.

PTI

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