Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi rubbished talk of some matches being fixed at the ongoing cricket World Cup.
"I don't know who is spreading the canard that the Indian team is involved in fixing matches. Such allegations are downright rubbish, because the anti-corruption branch of the International Cricket Council is very active. The players also know the consequences of match-fixing. Take my word, every team is doing its best to win their matches," he said.
He was reacting to reports that two of India's matches â the one against England, which ended in a tie, and the narrow defeat to South Africa â could have been fixed.
Asked who he felt would win the World Cup, Bedi said this is the best World Cup he's witnessed.
"Right now, there are three top contenders -- Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. But you cannot forget England, who are forging ahead from game to game. Lady luck is smiling on them, and, mind you, luck plays an important factor when things are so close.
"In my opinion, the English captain is the best captain in the tournament; look at the way he has been marshalling his resources," he said.
So what about India's chances?
The Indian team, he lamented, is above average age and their bowling is not clicking.
"If someone was to tell me that Sachin [Tendulkar] would have to perform beyond his potential to win the World Cup for himself I would agree with him. Despite his age he has done well so far in the World Cup matches. The problem is, when Tendulkar and Sehwag get going, the middle order becomes relaxed and they virtually throw away their wickets. If the two fail then the others don't chip in and perform.
"In our match against South Africa, we were at one stage well-placed, looking good for 350-plus. But the entire team got out below 300," he said, adding the bowlers need to deliver.
"Unless the bowlers click, even if India scores over 400 runs in 50 overs, there are chances we may still end up on the losing side."