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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Cricket Buzz: PM Modi resigns as Gujarat CA chief; Flintoff to play T20 for Lancs

Cricket Buzz: PM Modi resigns as Gujarat CA chief; Flintoff to play T20 for Lancs

Last updated on: May 30, 2014 20:35 IST

Cricket Buzz: PM Modi resigns as Gujarat CA chief; Flintoff to play T20 for Lancs

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has resigned as Gujarat Cricket Association president.

GCA secretary Rajesh Patel said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent his resignation letter to us yesterday, which said that he is quitting the post of GCA president."

Modi took over the reigns of the GCA, replacing then Congress leader Narhari Amin on September 15, 2009, while Amit Shah, the former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Affairs and a close aide of Modi, was elected GCA vice-president the same year.

The cash-rich GCA is likely to name its new president on June 13.

"We will elect our new president in a meeting on June 13," Patel said.

This is Modi’s fourth resignation after becoming prime minister.

Earlier, he resigned from the post of Chief Minister of Gujarat and MLA of Maninagar assembly constituency.

He also quit the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat.

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Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi


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Flintoff back from retirement to play T20 for Lancashire

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Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is coming out of retirement to play domestic Twenty20 cricket with Lancashire, it was announced on Friday.

The 36-year-old retired in 2010 after the previous year's Ashes series success against Australia, having played 79 tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven T20 matches.

He made 80 first-class appearances for Lancashire, and has been training with the county since the northern winter.

"I'm really honoured to be part of Lancashire once again," Flintoff said in a statement on the county's website.

"It is something that I never thought would happen but after training with the squad over the last few months I am really happy that they have invited me to play. I have worked really hard to get back to my fittest and I hope that we have a successful summer. I'm just glad that I can be part of it."

Flintoff could play against Yorkshire at Old Trafford next Friday.

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Image: Former Lancashire and England player Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff looks on as his son Rocky plays a shot
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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Match-fixing claims absurd, says Cairns

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Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns reiterated on Friday he was innocent of any involvement in match-fixing and described the accusations against him as ‘absurd, bizarre and scary’.

Cairns read out a statement at Auckland airport after returning from London, where he was interviewed at his own request by London police, English cricketing authorities and the anti-corruption unit of cricket's world governing body, the ICC.

"I have never match-fixed, sought to have others match-fix, or otherwise play the game of cricket in anything other than the spirit it so richly deserves to be played in," he said.

"Knowing what I now know of these allegations against me, I find the situation truly absurd, bizarre and scary.

"I now wait to see what happens next. Whatever happens, I am hopeful that proper process will be followed and that I will be cleared of these allegations."

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Image: Chris Cairns arrives at Auckland Airport
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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Match-fixing claims absurd, says Cairns

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The 43-year-old said former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent, who has admitted corruption and is assisting the ICC probe, had "betrayed" his friendship and the allegations he and his ex-wife had made against Cairns were "despicable lies".

He also hit out at New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, saying it was ‘misleading’ to say he had reported an alleged approach by Cairns about match-fixing in a ‘timely fashion’ given he made the allegation in 2011, three years after it was supposed to have taken place.

McCullum's evidence to the ICC's Anti-Corruption Security Unit (ACSU), where he described being twice approached by a ‘Player X’, was leaked to a British newspaper earlier this month.

Cairns later said he thought he was ‘Player X’ but completely denied the allegations.

The ICC has said that McCullum is not under investigation for match-fixing and has commended his conduct in coming forward to give the evidence.

Cairns also said none of the three cricketers who were allegedly told by McCullum of the approach - Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills - had made ‘a direct accusation’ against him.

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Image: Chris Cairns reads a prepared statement to the media at a press conference at Auckland Airport.
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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Match-fixing claims absurd, says Cairns

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The involvement of London police results from a 2012 libel trial in the British High Court, when Cairns won damages from Indian cricket administrator Lalit Modi over accusations of corruption.

Cairns said that after his London trip he was confident there were no allegations that he had "received any monies for my alleged activities, nor paid any monies to any person".

"Over the last few years I have felt the influence of nameless, faceless people casting aspersions about me through the world of cricket and perhaps beyond," he added.

"I have a small team of people in my corner who have believed in me throughout and are helping me now.

"I have said that there are dark forces at play here. The just-concluded trip to England has not persuaded me to think any differently."

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Image: ChAris Cairns with his wife
Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

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Fleming testified to ICC about Cairns's alleged role in fixing

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Chris Cairns has revealed that former New Zealand captains Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori have given statements to the International Cricket Council about his alleged role in match-fixing.

Reading from a prepared statement, Cairns said he had been told Fleming, Vettori and fast bowler Kyle Mills had joined former Test batsman Lou Vincent and current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum in making statements to the ICC.

Vincent has been charged with 12 counts of match-fixing relating to matches in England. In his evidence to ACSU investigators, which was leaked to British newspapers, he said he was involved in spot fixing in five countries and answered to a former star player, identified initially as ‘Player X’.

Cairns said he believes evidence provided to the ICC by Fleming, Vettori and Mills relates to McCullum's claim.

"Based on the information, I was provided in London, I now understand that there were two past players and one current New Zealand player who Mr McCullum said he spoke to about the alleged approach," Cairns said. "These three ex or current New Zealand players have made no direct accusation against me."

Cairns identified the players as Fleming, Vettori and Kyle Mills, the brother of New Zealand Cricket Players' Association head Heath Mills.

"Two of these men made statements supporting Mr. McCullum's claim that he spoke to them. The third man told investigators his memory was foggy and he could not make a statement in support of Mr McCullum," Cairns told the news conference.

"It is also significant that none of those players seem to have spoken to anyone at the ICC or any other organization about my alleged conversation with Mr McCullum until this year, 2014."

Cairns said during his meeting with investigators he had been provided with details of the statements made by McCullum, Vincent and other players.

He questioned why McCullum took almost three years to tell investigators on February 17, 2011 as he was approached by Cairns in India and England in 2008.

Cairns took legal action in Britain in March 2013 against former Indian cricket official Lalit Modi, who had accused him of match-fixing, and said all allegations in that case were "shown to be false."


Image: Stephen Fleming
Photographs: BCCI

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