The CBI Report in Full -- Part 21
Statement of Nayan Mongia About Kapil Dev's alleged offer to Manoj Prabhakar during the Singer Cup, 1994,
Nayan Mongia stated that he was occupying the room adjoining Manoj Prabhakar's room during that tour. His roommate was Prashant Vaidya. He never heard any shouting or commotion as a sequel to this alleged offer. He does not recollect any journalist sitting in his room when the alleged offer was made.
He heard about this alleged incident for the first time when Shri I S Bindra made those allegations on TV. His roommate Prashant Vaidya also never mentioned anything to him. Mongia stated that he had never been approached by any player, ex-player or bookie to underperform for a consideration.
About his slow batting in Kanpur against West Indies in 1994, he stated that there was some discussion in the dressing room that no further wickets should be lost and he had passed on the same instructions to Manoj Prabhakar. On being asked as to who had given those instructions to him, he could not give a satisfactory answer and stated that there was some general talk in the dressing room.
He denied having ever placed bets in England during a match not involving India. He also denied that he was involved with Mohd. Azharuddin in fixing matches. He stated that he had not received any money from Azharuddin or Ajay Sharma. He further stated that he had no knowledge of any match in the Titan Cup series, 1996 or the Pepsi Cup series in 1999 having been fixed by Azharuddin.
He denied that he had ever been offered money by a bookie to underperform.
Statement of Navjot Singh Sidhu
About the alleged offer made by Kapil Dev to Manoj Prabhakar during the Singer Cup in 1994, Navjot Sidhu stated that he and Manoj Prabhakar were roommates during that tour.
Sometime on that tour, Manoj Prabhakar, during a casual conversation, had told him that he had been offered money by a player without disclosing the name of the player. According to Sidhu, Manoj Prabhakar did not mention the time, place or the purpose of the above said offer.
Sidhu does not remember whether Kapil Dev had come to their room just before Prabhakar had told him about this offer of money. When Manoj Prabhakar informed him about it, he was absolutely sure that nobody else was present in the room. According to him, neither Prashant Vaidya nor anybody else had come to their room when Manoj Prabhakar had told him about the alleged offer.
During his further examination, N S Sidhu accepted that Manoj Prabhakar had told him in the first instance itself that the player who allegedly offered him money was Kapil Dev but categorically denied that the alleged offer was made in his presence.
Sidhu also denied that he was into match-fixing along with Manoj Prabhakar and stated that he had never underperformed for a consideration at any time during his cricket career. Statement of Ajit Wadekar Ajit Wadekar, former Indian captain and manager, stated that during his tenure as manager of Indian cricket team, he did not come across any instance or information, which hinted at match-fixing, betting or involvement of Indian players in it.
He further stated that although there were some instances such as Kapil Dev not running out Peter Kirsten in the 1992 "Goodwill tour" of the Indian team to South Africa in spite of his repeatedly leaving the crease before the ball was delivered and in spite of him telling Kapil to run Kirsten out a number of times after warning, Kapil did not do so.
This appeared odd now but he had thought that Kapil really wanted to have good relations with South Africa. Other such instances which he recalled were that of R Mohan, sports editor of "Hindu" who was in the dressing room with a cell phone and he had to ask him to leave the dressing room as he was causing disturbance, and Nayan Mongia playing extremely slowly in the one-day international match against West Indies in Kanpur.
Ajit Wadekar further stated that three of them, i.e., himself, captain Azhar and chairman of the selection committee Vishwanath, decided to penalize both Nayan and Manoj by dropping them for the next two matches on the ground that they appeared to have played slow to improve their average.
He further stated that although all these instances did appear to be odd, he could not say that they were deliberate acts on the part of the players because of consideration of match-fixing and betting. He further stated that during his tenure as manager of the Indian cricket team, he did feel that the players were not focused on the game and he had, therefore, formulated a code of conduct for Indian players in the tests against England and Zimbabwe.
About the allegation of Manoj Prabhakar that in the series against Sri Lanka some senior player of the team (Kapil Dev) had offered Manoj Prabhakar Rs 25 lakh to underperform and that he had informed him of the same, Ajit Wadekar stated that what Manoj Prabhakar had said were total lies.
Had any such information been given to him at that time, it would certainly have been reflected in his tour report. He totally denied that Manoj Prabhakar had given him any information about the alleged offer of money to him by Kapil Dev to underperform.
Statement of Prashanth Vaidya
He played for India for the first time during the Singer Cup, 1994, in Sri Lanka.
In that tour, Nayan Mongia was his roommate and the adjoining room was occupied by Manoj Prabhakar and N S Sidhu. About the alleged offer made by Kapil Dev to Manoj Prabhakar during that tour, Prashant categorically stated that he did not have nay knowledge of any such incident taking place during that tour.
He stated that he stated that he did not have any knowledge of any such incident taking place during that tour. He stated that he had not gone to Manoj Prabhakar's room as a sequel to the commotion arising out of the alleged offer.
He said that it may be possible that some journalist may have been sitting in his room during that tour since he was quite friendly with Mr. Sakya Sen Mitra, a journalist from Calcutta. He also stated that Kapil Dev and other players had been visiting each other's room quite often and there was a possibility of Kapil Dev having visited his room while Mr. Sakya Sen Mitra was also present.
He came to know of Kapil Dev's name in this connection only when Mr. I S Bindra had given a statement to this effect in the media. Statement of Ravi Shastri Ravi Shastri, former Indian cricketer, stated that Manoj Prabhakar first told him about the alleged offer made by Kapil Dev sometime during the Singer Cup series in 1994.
He was in Sri Lanka during that series as a commentator and Prabhakar had approached him about 4-5 days after the alleged offer was made and told him that Kapil Dev had offered him money to underperform in the India-Pakistan match. Ravi Shastri stated that he did not believe Manoj Prabhakar.
However, he instructed him to tell the team management about this. On being asked for his opinion whether Kapil Dev could have made such an offer, Ravi Shastri stated that he had played with Kapil Dev for a number of years during his cricketing career and did not think that Kapil Dev could have made such an offer.
On being asked as to what could have motivated Prabhakar to make such an allegation, he stated that it was a well-known fact in the Indian team that Manoj Prabhakar and Kapil Dev did not get along very well.
Statement of Kapil Dev Kapil Dev
Former Indian captain and former coach, when asked about the land acquired by him for a society at village Roza Ka Gujjar, district Gurgaon, stated that this land was purchased through one Kewal Joshi since it was a very attractive proposition as the price was very low and that he had offered many cricketers/ex-cricketers/officials plots so that it could be built up as a sort of cricketers' colony.
He had met the deputy commissioner of Gurgaon quite a few times to get the land demarcated properly, but till now it could not be managed. Kapil admitted having received a BMW car gifted to him during the South Africa tour of 1992 by one Ibrahim, owner of "Auto-city" auto garage in South Africa.
This was gifted to him after he had taken 400 wickets in the previous series at Australia. Ibrahim had offered him the car in return for his agreeing to model for his garage. Like all cricketers, he also thought that it was quite a good bargain and accepted the car and agreed to model for Ibrahim's company.
The car was brought to India after completing all the necessary formalities with the Ministry of Finance. Kapil Dev also admitted that he knew Hamid Banjo Cassim of South Africa very well. He stated that Cassim was known as Hamid Mamu to Indian players and was very helpful to Indian players whenever India toured South Africa.
About the India-New Zealand Test at Ahmedabad in 1999 where India did not enforce the follow-on, he stated that this decision was taken in consultation with the captain, vice captain and other senior players.
One day prior to the decision, there was absolutely no doubt in his mind that the follow-on should be enforced. At the end of play on the third day, there was no team meeting on the strategy for the next day. Somewhere during lunchtime on the fourth day the bowlers, especially Srinath, complained that they were very tired and India should bat again and score quick runs and make New Zealand bat thereafter.
On being told that the bookies in Delhi allegedly knew about the decision not to enforce follow-on on 31.10.99 night, Kapil stated that no decision to this effect was taken on the 31st and hence it was very surprising. On being asked whether somebody could have subconsciously influenced this decision on the next day, he stated that it could not be ruled out.
He could not remember as to who could have done it. About Ajay Jadeja, Kapil stated that he was extremely close to him and was like a son to him. On being told that Ajay Jadeja was in touch with a number of bookies and how Kapil never realised this, he stated that he had known about Jadeja's friendship with certain dubious persons and felt that his choice of friends was not always as it should be.
On being asked specifically whether he knew Uttam Chand, a bookie of Madras, he stated that he did not know any person by the name Uttam Chand, and upon being told he had once played cards with him at Hotel Adyar Park Sheraton, Madras, he stated that he used to have card sessions in the company of Bharat Reddy, the ex-wicketkeeper and may have played cards when generally many other people were also present in those sessions.
He accepted that he was very fond of playing cards. About his alleged offer to Manoj Prabhakar during the Singer Cup, 1994, Kapil stated that he did not make any such offer. All the while when Manoj Prabhakar made those allegations, Kapil thought he was talking about Mohd. Azharuddin and only when I.S. Bindra mentioned his name in the media recently, to his utter shock he realised that Manoj Prabhakar was talking about him.
He further stated that Prabhakar never got along well with him. One of the reasons was that during the tour of England in 1987, when Chetan Sharma was injured, in spite of Manoj Prabhakar being in the 14, he had asked the then BCCI President Mr. Raj Singh Dungarpur to permit him to utilise the services of Madan Lal, who was playing league cricket in England and was not in the original Indian team.
On another occasion when he was in the board of Directors of Escorts company, a proposal to nominate Manoj Prabhakar and Raman Lamba was received and he had shot down that proposal. Perhaps due to these reasons Manoj Prabhakar had a grudge against him. Kapil Dev also volunteered to undergo an unconditional Lie Detector Test.
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