Cricket: Fears of match-fixing tarnish India series

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The Independent Online
INDIA ARE having to contend with allegations of match-fixing as they prepare for their decisive fifth one-day international against New Zealand in New Delhi today.

Sunil Dev caused the controversy when he claimed his television prediction, made two weeks ago, of a 2-2 score going into the fifth and final match of the series, was based on information supplied by an unnamed bookmaker. "I don't bet myself but I was told by one of Delhi's biggest bookmakers that the series will be tied 2-2," said Dev, a former vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

India lost the first one-dayer at Rajkot and then won the next two at Hyderabad and Gwalior before the Kiwis drew level in the fourth with a comfortable win at Guwahati on Sunday. Dev presently runs cricket affairs in the Delhi and District Cricket Association, which hosts today's match.

"I should be happy that we are hosting such a needle match," he said. "But it worries me that dubious people like bookmakers can accurately predict how the series will go."

Dev, who raised similar doubts when he was manager of the Indian team on tour in South Africa three years ago, demanded a judicial inquiry. "Somewhere, someone has to speak up," he said. "Someone has to pursue the truth to ensure that cricket stays the institution we have known it to be."