REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER, BCCI
145. I have now reached the stage in this opinion where I would not like to convert the statement of Azharuddin a narrative form instead of setting it out in my language. I consider it more appropriate that I should exactly reproduce hereunder as in his statement, appearing in the original. It is no doubt lengthy, but considering the importance of the statement, it is very necessary that I should follow his style of narration. In fact, I am afraid that any attempt by me at converting this part of the statement from first person singular to third person would in fact make the narration more lengthy.
"19. The following portion my statement recorded by the CBI has now been read out to me:
20) "On being asked about introducing Mukesh Kumar Gupta @ MK to Hansie Cronje at Kanpur in 1996, I state that I had done so and I only knew Mukesh Gupta as a Jeweller. On being asked whether I know that MK is a bookie, I state that this person was first introduced to me by Ajay Sharma some time in 1995 at Hotel Taj Palace, S.P. Marg, New Delhi."
21) I never said as above before the CBI. I have never known any person called Mukesh Kumar Gupta alias MK. I have never known him as John also. I never introduced him to any one. In particular, I did not introduce him to Hansie Cronje at Kanpur in 1996 or at any other time. As I did not know Mukesh Kumar Gupta at all, my knowing him only as a jeweller does not arise. Similarly, the question of my knowing MK as a bookie also does not arise. It is not correct that MK was first introduced to me by Ajay Sharma some time in 1995 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. Ajay Sharma did not introduce him to me at any time.
22)Q.Hansie Cronje has deposed that MK was introduced to him by you. What do you have to say regarding this?
23).No. I did not introduce MK to Hansie Cronje. I do not now know why Hansie Cronje has deposed like that.
24).Q. Do you have or had at any time any enmity with Hansie Cronje?
26). You have now read out to me the following portion in my statement as recorded by the CBI. "He along with Ajay Sharma has been approaching me to under perform in some matches for a consideration. I do not member the exact amount paid to me but I remember that Mukesh Gupta had offered me a sum of Rs. 1.25 crores but the deal did not materialize. However, I have taken money on some occasions from him but did not under perform in most of the matches. On being asked specifically, I state that the "Titan Cup" match between India and South Africa at Rajkot in 1996 was fixed through Mukesh Gupta and Ajay Sharma. In that series, Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia were also involved along with me. On being asked I state that perhaps some match in 'Pepsi Asia Cup' at Srilanka in 1997 was also fixed through him. I do not recollect any other matches in which I may have been fixed through MK".
27). My reply is that I did not state as above to CBI at all. When I have stated before you that I did not know Mr. Mukesh Gupta, the question of these activities does not arise at all. I deny each and every allegation in the aforesaid quoted portion. I never made any statement or admission before CBI and therefore this part of the statement has also been wrongly recorded.
28). The following portions of my statement recorded by the CBI have now been read out to me.
"On being asked about Ajay Gupta, Gyan Gupta and Amish Gupta whose Cell phone numbers figure frequently in my mobile, I state that I met them through Ajay Sharma some time in 1998 since I had a letter of intent for a petrol pump issued by the Ministry of Petroleum in 1996 and there was some litigation and I wanted to seek their help.
On being asked whether Amish Gupta s/o Gyan Gupta paid my bills at Harrods in England in 1999 during the World Cup, I state that I had made some purchases and Amish Gupta had paid for the same. On being asked whether Ajay Gupta and his associates are also involved in match fixing through me, I state that they have approached me some times to under perform for a consideration.
I do not remember how much money I received from them. However, the Pepsi Cup Match between Pakistan-India at Jaipur in 1999 was fixed through them. Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia were also involved with me in that particular Match. I was paid around Rs. 10 lacs after this match by some person whom I do not know on their behalf. I also state that Amish Gupta had also given me a mobile 98-111-50860 through which he used to contact me during matches".
29). The entire statement as recorded by the CBI above is wrong and I never stated so before the CBI. I do not know any of these persons and I had never received any money from them. My bills at Harrods in England were never paid by Amish Gupta. I have never under-performed in any match. I never received Rs. 10 lakhs as mentioned above. Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia were never involved in match fixing as recorded by the CBI. Mobile NO. 98111 50860 was never given to me by Amish Gupta. I have never used the said number 98111 50860
30). Did you ever receive a letter of intent from the Ministry of Petroleum?
31). I do not remember.
32). Was there any litigation about the said allotment?
33). I am not sure.
34). Have you ever made purchases in Harrods?
35). I have been to Harrods but never made any purchase.
36). What was the result of Pakistan/India Pepsi Cup Match at Jaipur in 1999?
37). India lost the match. I do not remember the statistics. I do not remember how much I scored in that match.
38). Were Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia involved in the said match?
39). No, not at all.
39). Do you remember the scores made by Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia?
41). The following portion in my statement recorded by the CBI has been read out to me now.
"On being asked, I state that I had seen Dawood Ibrahim a few times in Sharjah where he used to be present during cricket matches. I have not had any telephonic conversation with him ever. On being asked, I state that Abu Salem has also spoken to me on a couple of occasions and he had requested me to fix some matches but I had refused. On being asked, I state that I know Hamid Banzo Cassim of South Africa and I have met him whenever I visited South Africa. On being asked whether I received any gifts from Shobhan Mehta, I state that I have never received any money or a flat from him and I do not even know him. On being asked whether I was presented a Mercedes by 'ARY Jewellers' owned by some Pakistani, I state that I had received a letter to this effect from Asif Iqbal but I did not collect the Car since I could not pay the high customs duty. On being asked about Pappu Bhutani, I state that he is a very good friend of mine but I have not purchased any expensive watch from him. I state that I had presented a Rolex watch costing around Rs. 75,000/- to Ajit Wadekar. This was done as a token of appreciation since he was always the to guide me when he was the Coach of Indian team."
43. In reply I may state that I did not tell the CBI most of what is stated above. Dawood Ibrahim being well-known man in Dubai, I had some time seen him in the TV in the dressing room watching match in Sharjah. I do not know him, I have never spoken to him and had no connection with him in any manner. I do not know Abu Salem and he had never spoken to me. I know Hamid Banzo Casim of South Africa who used to attend many cricket matches when we used to play and he was friendly with all cricketers. He used to bring Indian food also for the Indian players. Regarding the gift of Mercedes Benz by ARY Jewellers, it is a fact that they wanted to do so as I had broken Desmond Haynes' record of maximum number of runs in ODIs. I also broke the record of playing the highest number of ODIs namely more than 334 ODIs. I was the most successful captain. I could not however accept the gift as I did not have the required money to pay the customs duty. I know Pappu Bhutani but I did not buy any expensive watch from him. I did present a Rolex watch to Ajit Wadekar but I do not remember its price."
146. From the above narration, it will be seen that Azhar has almost totally denied having stated any of the matters which appear in his statement as recorded by the CBI.
147. In the statement recorded by the CBI, Azhar stated that regarding the alleged offer made by Kapil Dev to Manoj Prabhakar during the Singer Cup in 1994. Manoj Prabhakar never informed Azhar about this alleged offer and he only came to know about the same through newspapers recently. Azhar added to CBI that there was no such rumour of any such offer during the said tour to Sri Lanka.
148. Regarding this portion of his statement, Azhar confirmed before me that he did tell the CBI as set out above.
149. Regarding the match at Kanpur in 1994 between India and West Indies, Azhar stated that there was no instructions for Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia to bat slowly and Azhar did not know the reason why they did so. Azhar added that when Prabhakar came to know that he was banned for subsequent two matches, Prabhakar abused him in the bus when the team was going back.
150. Azhar confirmed before me that he had stated so to the CBI.
151. In Azhar's statement recorded by the CBI, regarding the bookie named Balli, he stated that he did not know him but it was possible that he may have met him through Ajay Sharma when they went to Meerut to buy bats from Kailash Anand, Proprietor of SG.
152. In the statement recorded by me also, Azhar stated that he does not know Balli. He also stated that he did not tell CBI that it is possible that he might have met him through Ajay Sharma when they went to Meerut to collect bats from Kailash Anand, proprietor of SG. Azhar stated that he does know Kailash Anand, who is probably the best maker of bats in the world. The bats made by him are even exported to foreign countries. Kailash Anand is also a leading manufacturer of all cricket equipments.
153. In the last paragraph of the statement recorded by the CBI, Azhar stated that at that time he was unable to recollect anything more since he was upset and offered to provide more details later when he recollect the composure.
154. Even regarding this, Azhar stated before me that he never stated so before CBI.
155. From this single but significant denial itself, it is clear that Azhar has been legally advised to deny before me most of what appeared in his statement recorded by the CBI.
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