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December 5, 2000

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Prabhakar slams BCCI on ban

Onkar Singh

Manoj Prabhakar on Tuesday evening described the five-year ban, imposed on him by the Board of Control of Cricket in India for his alleged role in match-fixing, as a part of a deep rooted conspiracy hatched by those at the helm of affairs of the board.

Reacting sharply to the ban, Prabhakar told he expected it.

"I am sitting with my advocate and writing my response to the ban imposed on me. They have all done it in a planned manner. How could they equate me with Ajay Jadeja, who was still playing cricket when the match-fixing scam was going on? I had given up cricket in 1996 itself and whatever connections I had with the bookies, as made out by K Madhavan, was after I had stopped playing cricket.

"The atmoshphere in cricket was stifling and that is why I left cricket four years ago. They now want to drag me back into the same atmosphere," he declared.

When asked if he would take the BCCI to court, Prabhakar said it is too early to say anything on the matter as he has "not studied the order from the board fully".

He regretted being punished because he blew the whistle on one of the most sordid things going on in the game of cricket.

Advocate for Ajay Jadeja, Vineet Malhotra was taken aback when told that his client has been banned for five years by the BCCI.

"This is highly unfair. Madhavan did not even look at our point of view. We had asked him to give us the copies of the bills that CBI had given to him, but till date we have not received the bills. I would be able to respond to your questions after I have had a talk with Jadeja," Malhotra told

Incidentally Malhotra is also advocate for Rajesh Kalra, who was arrested by the Delhi police in the Hansie Cronje case.

S M Khan, official spokesman of the CBI, said there is no question of the agency being happy or unhappy with the decision of the BCCI. "We have done our job and after a detailed investigation submitted our report to the government. What action the BCCI has taken against the players is not our concern," he said.

Mail Cricket Editor