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February 10, 2001

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Waugh tells ICC he never met bookmaker Gupta

Australian batsman Mark Waugh said on Saturday he told International Cricket Council investigators he had never met Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta, who is at the centre of match-fixing allegations.

"Like I said, I denied the allegations when they first came out and that hasn't changed," Waugh told reporters after his interview with a panel of three ICC and Australian Cricket Board (ACB) investigators at Melbourne's Hilton Hotel.

"I've met one bookmaker and that was John."

Waugh and teammate Shane Warne were fined in 1995 after admitting they had accepted money from a bookmaker identified only as John in 1994 in exchange for pitch and weather information.

Mark Waugh "I've seen the photo of Gupta, yeah. I don't know who's in the photo."

Waugh met ACB investigator Greg Melick and two members of the ICC's anti-corruption unit (ACU) for two hours and 20 minutes at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday morning.

Indian bookmaker Gupta has said he paid US$20,000 to Waugh in exchange for information about the team and its tactics at a six-a-side tournament in Hong Kong in 1993.

Waugh was among nine non-Indian players, including former test captains Brian Lara, Alec Stewart and Martin Crowe, named in an Indian Central Bureau of Investigation report into match-fixing last year as having connections with bookmakers.

Waugh avoided the media scrum by staying at the Hilton Hotel and meeting his lawyers while photographers waited outside the hotel for him to arrive.

"I was a little bit nervous but I was fine once I was in there. I answered all the questions that were asked of me, it was a friendly atmosphere and I'm glad it's over," he said.

Asked if that was the end of his name being raised in ACU investigations, Waugh said:

"That's not up to me, that's up to the ICC."


On Friday he shrugged off the pressure of the investigation by making an Australian record of 173 off 148 balls as the home side beat the West Indies by 39 runs to sweep the limited overs finals series 2-0 and complete a 15-0 season in tests and limited overs matches.

Asked if he had cleared his name, he said wearily: "I answered all questions that were asked of me."

Melick refused to answer questions from reporters but said the ACB appreciated the fact that Waugh had been co-operative.

"But you all should be aware this is part of an ongoing investigation taking place in many countries and the interview will be considered along with all others in part of the ongoing investigation," Melick told reporters.

"There will be a full report coming when it's finished. As for the timing of when it's out, I can't enlighten you, it will be some time yet."

Waugh will fly to India on Tuesday for Australia's three-test tour there. Waugh, 35, the twin brother of Australia's captain Steve Waugh, is a hot favourite to win the national player of the year award, the Allan Border Medal, on Monday night.

Mail Cricket Editor

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