Cricket: Match-fixing probe to sit in Australia

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The Independent Online
THE PAKISTANI investigation into match-fixing will sit in Australia in January to take evidence from Shane Warne and Mark Waugh.

The Australian and Pakistani cricket boards announced yesterday that the two Australian Test players, as well as Alan Crompton, the former Australian Cricket Board chairman, would go before the inquiry on 8 January.

The two players, who have accused Salim Malik, the former Pakistan captain, of offering them a bribe, were ordered to appear after admitting two weeks ago that they accepted money from an illegal Indian bookmaker for information on pitch and weather conditions during a tour of the sub-continent in 1994.

The Pakistan judge in charge of the investigation agreed to travel to Australia after the two Australians declined to go to Pakistan and attempts to set up a live video link failed.

Salim Malik has also been given the option to travel to Australia at his own expense if he wanted to cross-examine the pair.

The ACB also announced that its own investigation into cricket and betting would begin on 12 January and was expected to last for at least three weeks.

The ACB ordered the inquiry after the admissions of Warne and Waugh and revelations by other players that they had also been approached by bookmakers both on the sub-continent and in Australia.

The ACB has been criticised for its handling of the affair after it was revealed that it kept secret details of the fines imposed on Warne and Waugh until journalists broke the story just before the third Ashes Test two weeks ago. Despite that the inquiry, headed by Rob O'Regan QC, the former chairman of the Queensland state's Criminal Justice Commission, will be conducted in private with the findings due to be made public in February

O'Regan said he wanted to speak with everyone who had represented Australia since 1992 as well as a number of ACB officials.