ICC call emergency meeting

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The Independent Online

The governing body of world cricket said today it would hold an emergency meeting at Lord's May 2-3 to discuss match-fixing allegations that have engulfed the game.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, the president of the ICC, said "directors around the world are extremely concerned at the damage to the image of the game by the flow of allegation about players being involved in receiving payments from bookmakers."

Indian police have filed charges against South African cricketers Hansje Cronje, Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom for fraud, conspiracy and fraud in connection with a one-day series in March against India, which the host nation won 3-2.

Last week Cronje was ousted as South Africa captain after admitting he took money from a bookmaker for information and forecasting during a triangular one-day series against Zimbabwe and England in South Africa last January.

In a statement, Dalmiya urged "the numerous players and officials who have claimed they also have been approached to come forward with evidence so they can take action on the problem."

"While in most cases these are unsubstantiated allegations, it is vital that any person who has firm evidence comes forward to the ICC," Dalmiya added.

Meanwhile, the English Cricket Board has summoned former test allrounder Chris Lewis to a meeting on Tuesday to discuss his revelations in a tabloid Sunday newspaper that three England players were involved in taking cash to fix games.

Lewis' reported allegations, similar to those he made to the same paper last summer, were rubbished by most papers on Monday and players such as Yorkshire fast bowler Darren Gough and Middlesex seamer challenged Angus Fraser him to name names or withdraw the statements.

The Leicestershire allrounder will attend a meeting in London with Gerard Elias, chairman of the ECB's discipline committee, and international teams director Simon Pack.

"This is an extremely serious issue and therefore we shall be meeting with Chris Lewis tomorrow to discuss his comments in detail," Pack said.

"As is well known, the ECB sought the assistance of the police as soon as it became aware of the match-fixing allegations concerning the England vs. New Zealand test series last summer.

"The ECB co-operated fully with the police in their inquiries which included the interview of all England players, team management and match officials involved in the series," Pack said.

"As a result, the police found nothing to implicate any player, member of management or match official in match-fixing.

"However, we have today contacted the police investigation team regarding the News of the World article and they have confirmed that they too will be seeking to interview Chris Lewis about this matter with some urgency."

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