Friday, May 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kapil offered money to Manoj: Bindra

NEW DELHI, May 4 (UNI) — Kapil Dev was the player who offered money to Manoj Prabhakar to under-perform during the 1994 India tour of Sri Lanka, former BCCI president IS Bindra has alleged.

“The person who offered Rs 25 lakh to Prabhakar to play below potential (in a 1994 Singer Cup match in Sri Lanka) is an icon in the cricketing world. He is the Michael Jordan of India. His name is Kapil Dev,” Mr Bindra said, recalling a meeting last week in Chandigarh wherein Prabhakar reportedly revealed this three years after he came out with the sensational allegation about Indian cricketers being involved in match-fixing.

“Manoj told me that he would now be revealing the name to the CBI which is probing charges on match-fixing,” Mr Bindra told CNN in an interview telecast late last night.

Asked whether he had talked to Kapil Dev on Prabhakar’s claim, he said: “No, because I had to soon leave for London for the ICC meeting.”

Mr Bindra, who spoke from London where he attended the just-concluded emergency meeting of the ICC, regretted that he was invited for the confabulations only as a delegate. “I wanted them (ICC officials) to consider me as a witness. But they feared I have some information potent enough to damage them.”

The former BCCI chief was of the strong opinion that it were not just players who were involved in match-fixing. “It (match-fixing) cannot happen without the administrators either conniving or overlooking,” he noted, but was silent on whether umpires could play a role in it.

Without going into the details, Mr Bindra said some players of the Indian team had been involved in betting. “Once during my tenure as BCCI chief, the management suspected that some Indian players had thrown a Barbados match. The team manager then was Madal Lal. The captain was Sachin Tendulkar,” he recalled, regretting that no action was taken on the complaint.

Citing another episode, Mr Bindra said he, while in office as BCCI chief, had found some Indian players involved in betting during a tour in a foreign country where it was not considered illegal. “I told them (players) that what they were doing may not be against the law, but it is morally incorrect.”

Mr Bindra said, as far as he knew, match-fixing could be traced back to as early as late 1970s. “In early ’80s there was much talk on alleged betting over the toss in a Calcutta match.”

At this, he recalled an instance where former Pakistan pace bowler Sarfraz Nawaz alleged that the then Pakistan skipper Asif Iqbal had been involved in betting. “If this is the criterion for somebody becoming the ICC ambassador, I have nothing to say,” he said about Iqbal.

Mr Bindra was of the opinion that match-fixing was not confined to the subcontinent. “It has nothing to do with the race or colour it is cancerous and needs a major surgery.”

Asked whether he had some remedy to curb the menace, Mr Bindra said a hike in the player’s remuneration could decrease his temptation.

On a buff’s question on the chatline whether it is the local law or the sport body’s decision that could be implemented in settling cases of betting or match-fixing, he said both could come handy according to the nature of each case.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev today denied he had offered $ 25,000 to allrounder Manoj Prabhakar to play below his best in a one-day match.

Mr Bindra, in a question and answer programme of CNN, had said yesterday that Prabhakar had told him that Kapil Dev had made the offer during a one-day tournament in Sri Lanka in 1994.

“Bindra seems to have his own problems and this statement of his shows his frustration. These administrators, in taking out their rivalries against each other, are killing the game with all wild allegations,” the former India skipper and current team coach told PTI.

Kapil Dev said he would inform the government and the BCCI of his future course of action before saying anything to the Press.

Prabhakar’s allegations that he was offered money in 1994 by a team-matde during the tournament held in August that year led to BCCI appointing Justice Y V Chandrachud as the one-man inquiry commission, but he absolved Indian players and officials of any wrongdoing in a 94-page report made public recently.

Prabhakar had recently said he had revealed the name of the person who had offered him money to a top government official, but refused to say in whom he had confided.

“I can’t say everything now,” he had said, adding the government was yet to provide him with security as promised if he came out with details of corruption in Indian cricket and had also not taken steps to get his benevolent fund, withheld by the BCCI, released.

Prabhakar also said two days ago he would give “all details” to the Press soon, apart from cooperating fully with the CBI inquiry instituted to probe allegations of betting and match-fixing in Indian cricket.

Kapil Dev, in an interview to a website, termed the allegations as “nonsense” and said after playing for the country for so long, winning its only World Cup in 1983, it was not fair to ask him to prove his credentials.

“The immediate reaction would be to deny it, for all this is nonsense. If after all these years, when I have toiled so much for the country, winning for India the only World Cup she has won, if I still have to prove my credentials to anybody, it’s not on.”

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