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|May 5, 2000||
BCCI turns down Kapil's request to pull out of Asia Cup
Indian cricket chiefs on Friday rejected coach Kapil Dev's request to pull the team out of the upcoming Asia Cup tournament till the match-fixing row is settled.
Kapil Dev, himself embroiled in the scandal, wanted the Board of Control for Cricket in India to reconsider its decision to play in the four-nation tournament in Bangladesh later this month.
"It is my personal opinion not to play because of the prevalent atmosphere," Kapil had said earlier in the day.
"You can understand what frame of mind the players will be in."
BCCI secretary Jayawant Lele said the team will take part in the May 28-June 7 tournament in Dhaka against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh since international commitments had to be honoured.
"What Kapil Dev says is his view, it is not our view," Lele said. "We have international committments to honour and we will honour them."
Lele claimed the raging controversy has not affected the morale of the Indian players in any way.
"It has not affected them. Why should it affect them. So many allegations have been raised against so many people."
Kapil has threatened legal action over remarks by former Indian cricket chief Inderjit Singh Bindra, that Manoj Prabhakar had named him as the person who had offered him a bribe to play badly in a one-day international in Sri Lanka in 1994.
"The person who offered ... to Prabhakar to play below potential is an icon in the cricketing world. He is the Michael Jordan of India. His name is Kapil Dev," Bindra told CNN.
Kapil, Test cricket's most successful bowler till West Indian Courtney Walsh overtook his tally of 434 wickets in March, vehemently denied the charge.
In a statement issued late Thursday, Kapil said: "It has been brought to my notice that certain wild and baseless allegations have been made in an interview aired on CNN.
"I have discussed these with my lawyers who are taking appropriate action against those responsible for uttering these reckless allegations."
Lele said the BCCI has not yet sought clarification from Kapil Dev over Bindra's allegations.
"We have not yet talked to him regarding the allegations and will do so at the appropriate time. We do not want to say anything now about that," he said.
The Indian government last month ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe whether any Indian cricketer or administrator was involved in match-fixing.
Prabhakar had refused to disclose his teammate's identity even to a one-man inquiry conducted by the Indian cricket board in 1997 to probe allegations of wrong-doing against the players.
But he wrote in his column last Tuesday he had "given the name to a big gun in the government."
Newspapers speculated that person was the powerful home minister Lal Kishan Advani.
"Someone well-placed in (the) government will bear me out when I say that I will have no hesitation in naming the senior teammate who offered me the bribe," Prabhakar wrote.
"He has already heard me name the central character in the drama."
World cricket was rocked on April 7 when Indian police laid match-fixing charges against South African captain Hansie Cronje during a one-day series in India.
Cronje, who denied the charge, was later sacked as captain when he admitted receiving 10,000-15,000 dollars to provide weather and pitch information to bookmakers during an earlier series in South Africa.
The International Cricket Council, who concluded an emergency session on Wednesday, said it will impose life bans on cricketers found guilty of match-fixing.
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