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|April 7, 2000||
Cronje named in match-fixing scamThe Rediff team
What started as an ordinary investigation into betting and bribery, by the Delhi police, took on sensational overtones on Friday afternoon, when senior police officers announced that they had conclusive evidence indicating that South African players, including skipper Hansie Cronje, had been involved in fixing the games during the recent five-game one day series in India.
Police officers announced that as part of their investigation, they had on March 14 tape-recorded a conversation from the phone in room 346 of the Taj Palace Hotel, involving Cronje, and one Sanjay, discussing details of the fixing.
Releasing some details of the conversation, police officials said Cronje was taped discussing with Sanjay the number of runs that would be made by various players. The names of Niky Boje, Herschelle Gibbs and Peter Strydom were mentioned, and Cronje reportedly says on tape that they would make less than 20 runs.
The tape further goes on to discuss what would happen if India opted to bat first, and Sanjay is heard assuring Cronje that in that event, India's score would not cross 250.
It will be recalled that SA and India played an ODI fixture at Faridabad on March 15. India batted first, and made 248. Chasing, Gibbs made 19; Boje, sent in as number three, made 14, and Strydom remained unbeaten on 1.
The taped conversation has Sanjay asking Cronje if Klusener would oblige as well, and Cronje is heard responding that Klusener had "already done it in Cochin and is angry that he hasn't got his money". (Lance Klusener, coming out to bat in the 43rd over, lasted just one ball before being out caught and bowled for a duck to the bowling of Rahul Dravid).
The Delhi police have in this connection arrested Rajesh Kalra, a Chanakyapuri-based businessman and alleged bookie, and are networking with Interpol to affect the arrest of Sanjay, who is now in London.
In a quick reaction, Rushdi Magiet, convener of the South African selection committee, told rediff.com on the telephone from his Cape Town home, "This is news to me. I can't believe it. No way can I doubt the integrity of Hansie Cronje and Niky Boje. I can't comment further on this right now, since I have no first hand knowledge of this."
Meanwhile, Roger Hill, general manager in charge of the International Cricket Council office in London, said the ICC had been informed of the report, and that at this point in time, there was no official response.
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