Crowe was 'tricked' into taking money for match data

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Whether the 162-page report released by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation eventually makes it to the "fact" or "fiction" shelves is cricket's most awaited answer after some of the sport's biggest names were dragged into the match-fixing scandal yesterday.

Whether the 162-page report released by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation eventually makes it to the "fact" or "fiction" shelves is cricket's most awaited answer after some of the sport's biggest names were dragged into the match-fixing scandal yesterday.

The former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has admitted to accepting money, but says he was "tricked into it".

MK Gupta, the Indian bookmaker referred to in the report, alleged that he paid Crowe $20,000 (£13,500) for pitch, weather and team information in 1992. "I wasn't actually paid by the bookmaker," Crowe said. "It was obviously an organised scam to collect information and, once I realised what was going on, I knocked it on the head."

Others mentioned include England's Alec Stewart, who is said to have accepted £5,000 from Gupta for similar pitch and team information. "I have never even met him," was his emphatic response yesterday.

Australia's Dean Jones and Mark Waugh, Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda da Silva, South Africa's Hansie Cronje, the West Indian Brian Lara, India's Mohammad Azharuddin and Pakistan's Salim Malik and Asif Iqbal were all named. Jones also issued a strong denial.

Lara is alleged to have been paid $40,000 to under-perform in two matches on the 1994 tour to India. However, Ricky Skerritt, the current West Indies manager, said: "I have not seen the report. We will not give it any serious thought until then."

David Graveney, the chairman of the England selectors and chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, said: "Alec is a shining example to everyone in the game. When he makes a categorical denial I would be the first to believe it." The head of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption body, Paul Condon, said he would study the report over the next 24 hours.

Comments