Cricket: Aussie players 'secretly fined'

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The Independent Online
THE AUSTRALIAN cricketers Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were fined in 1994 for providing information about pitch conditions to an Indian bookmaker in exchange for thousands of dollars, the Australian Cricket Board admitted yesterday.

"What the players Mark and Shane did was admit to receiving money from an Indian bookmaker and having provided that bookmaker with information on the state of pitches and weather conditions." said ACB chief executive Mal Speed.

Warne, Waugh and Tim May accused former Pakistan captain Salim Malik of offering them bribes on the same tour, allegations which later became the centre of a judicial inquiry.

Speed said he did not know the exact amount the players received. "I will know more about that later," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio. "I had asked the players but on reflection it was not answered clearly. I will have a clear answer today. It's not a substantial amount of money, it's several thousands, it's not tens of thousands," he said.

The ACB said in a statement that the players were fined Aus$2,500 (pounds 950), although media reports suggested the fines were heavier. Speed said he did not know why Australian cricket officials did not make the incident public at the time.

"It had been investigated immediately and the players had freely admitted their involvement, they were fined, they paid their fine and the International Cricket Council was told," he said.

Australian newspapers labelled the story "Cricket Betting Scandal", but the former Australian batsman David Hookes told Melbourne radio on Tuesday there was no suggestion the players were bribed to influence the outcome of matches.

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