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|May 4, 2000||
It was Kapil who tried to tempt Prabhakar: Bindra
Kapil Dev was the player who offered money to Manoj Prabhakar to under-perform during the 1994 India tour of Sri Lanka, former BCCI president I S Bindra has alleged.
''The person who offered Rs 2.5 million to Prabhakar to play below potential (in a 1994 Singer Cup match in Sri Lanka) is an icon in the cricketing world. He is the Michael Jordan of India. His name is Kapil Dev,'' Bindra said, recalling a meeting last week in Chandigarh wherein Prabhakar reportedly revealed this three years after he came out with the sensational allegation about Indian cricketers being involved in match-fixing.
''Manoj told me that he would now be revealing the name to CBI (which is probing charges on match-fixing),'' Bindra told CNN in an interview telecast late last night.
Asked whether he had talked to Kapil Dev on Prabhakar's claim, he said: ''No, because I had to soon leave for London for the ICC meeting.''
Bindra, who spoke from London where he attended the just-concluded emergency meeting of the ICC, regretted that he was invited for the confabulations only as a delegate. ''I wanted them (ICC officials) to consider me as a witness. But they feared I have some information potent enough to damage them.''
The former BCCI chief was of the strong opinion that it were not just players who were involved in match-fixing. ''It (match-fixing) cannot happen without the administrators either conniving or overlooking,'' he noted, but was silent on whether umpires could play a role in it.
Without going into the details, Bindra said some players of the Indian team had been involved in betting. ''Once during my tenure as BCCI chief, the management suspected that some Indian players had thrown a Barbados match. The team manager then was Madal Lal. The captain was Sachin Tendulkar,'' he recalled, regretting that no action was taken on the complaint.
Citing another episode, Bindra said he, while in office as BCCI chief, had found some Indian players involved in betting during a tour in a foreign country where it was not considered illegal. ''I told them (players) that what they were doing may not be against the law, but it is morally incorrect.''
Bindra said as far as he knew, match-fixing could be traced back to as early as late 1970s. ''In early '80s there was much talk on alleged betting over the toss in a Calcutta match.''
At this, he recalled an instance where former Pakistani pace bowler Sarfraz Nawaz alleged that the then Pakistani skipper Asif Iqbal to have been involved in betting. ''If this is the criterion for somebody becoming the ICC ambassador, I have nothing to say,'' he said about Iqbal.
Bindra was of the opinion that match-fixing was not confined to the subcontinent. ''It has nothing to do with the race or colour. It is cancerous and needs a major surgery.''
Asked whether he had some remedy to curb the menace, Bindra said a hike in the player's remuneration could decrease his temptation.
On a buff's question on Chatline whether it is the local law or the sport body's decision that could be implemented in settling cases of betting or match-fixing, he said both could come handy according to the nature of each case.
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