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Gibbs, Boje may skip India tour

June 02, 2004 15:55 IST

The United Cricket Board of South Africa said it will not allow Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje to travel to India for a tour later this year if they are to be interrogated by New Delhi police in the match-fixing case.

"We cannot have our players being traumatised by police investigations if they are on a cricket tour," UCB President Ray Mali told the SABC Radio News.

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He said the Board's CEO Gerald Majola was currently negotiating with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about the situation regarding the two players.

South Africa are scheduled to tour India in October-November to play seven one-dayers, their first tour to the country after the infamous 2000 series when the match-fixing scandal broke out.

Mali's comments come in the wake of recent statements by BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya and New Delhi Police Commissioner K K Paul.

Dalmiya said in Kolkata on Monday that BCCI could not interfere with police investigations and give an assurance to UCB that the South African players would not be interrogated.

Paul had said match-fixing investigations involving Hansie Cronje, Gibbs and Boje, had not yet been closed.

Cronje, the former cricket captain who was accused of match-fixing during the 2000 tour, died in a plane crash two  years ago.

The UCB also expressed dissatisfaction over India's decision to play only one-dayers and not any Tests during the  tour.

Reports in local newspapers and electronic media quoted fans as urging the Indian cricket public to put pressure on  their Board to "change its attitude" on the tour.

"India is such a cricket mad country that it will be futile not to have any Test matches being played during the tour," said John Perlman, a news commentator on South Africa's national SAFM radio.

"Let's hope the Indian public will put pressure on the Indian Cricket Board," he said echoing the views of South African cricket fans.

M Subramoney
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