M A I N   N E W S

Marlon Samuels in betting scandal

Nagpur, February 7
Seven years after the Cronjegate scandal, police here tonight said it had tapped a telephonic conversation of West Indian cricketer Marlon Samuels providing confidential team details to a bookie having alleged nexus with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's gang ahead of the January 21 one-dayer against India.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar said that Samuels gave out information to a bookie named Mukesh Kochar on the batting and bowling line-ups of his team but "we have no evidence about financial commitment made." He said Nagpur police had concrete evidence that Samuels was in touch with Kochar, an associate of Dawood gang and "prima facie it is a violation of ICC Code of Conduct for player." Kumar said the police had informed the BCCI that there had been certain incidents which showed that Samuels was conversing on a number of occasions with Kochar who was an international cricket better.

"And we have said in brief what was the conversation, including the bowling order and other details which were being provided to Kochar," Kumar said.

Asked if it was another case of match-fixing, Kumar said, "it is not actually a match-fixing incident. It is basically certain confidential team details that were passed on to a cricket better.

"We have no information about fixing the match. We have team information being passed. There were certain promises made but we cannot reveal them now."

Kumar said that Nagpur Commissioner of Police had sent a report to BCCI Vice-President Shashank Manohar, who is based here, and also to the Anti-Corruption Unit of the ICC this evening.

"We have already sent our report to BCCI Vice-President and to the Indian representative in the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit.” However, BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah said that the Board has not received such a report from the Nagpur police.

When contacted, ICC spokesperson Brian Murgatroyd said, “I am not aware of any such report reaching the ICC. And as a policy, we don’t comment on or make public activities of the Anti-Corruption Unit.”

Asked how many phone conversations were tapped, he said that he was not in a position to disclose any information on this right now but “we will be revealing them to the ICC and the BCCI any further information they might require for taking action against the concerned player.” India had won the match in Nagpur by 14 runs after making 338 for three.

The match-fixing scandal of 2000 involving former South African captain, late Hansie Cronje, came to light when the Delhi Police caught on tape his telephone conversation with a bookie.

As a fallout, Cronje, India’s Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma, and Pakistan’s Salim Malik were banned for life while Ajay Jadeja was handed out a five-year ban.

Cronje’s teammates Herschelle Gibbs was questioned by Delhi police during his visit to India for the Champions Trophy in October. — PTI



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