Stewart denies taking £5,000 bung from Indian bookmaker

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The Independent Online

England's former cricket captain, Alec Stewart, "categorically denied" yesterday that he had taken money from a bookmaker for providing information about a match.

England's former cricket captain, Alec Stewart, "categorically denied" yesterday that he had taken money from a bookmaker for providing information about a match.

The player, on tour with England in Pakistan, was forced to make his statement after being named in a report into match-fixing by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The allegations came as the International Cricket Council said it had recruited an élite squad of former Scotland Yard detectives, who specialised in fighting kidnapping and terrorism, to root out corrupt cricketers and umpires.

The CBI report is based on statements from Indian bookmakers and gamblers and is not substantiated with proof of wrongdoing. It alleges that Stewart received £5,000 from a bookmaker, Mukesh Kumar Gupta, for information about the pitch, the weather conditions and the England team line-up in 1993. Mr Gupta told the CBI that he had paid Stewart for information only. He stressed that Stewart had refused invitations to "throw" matches.

Stewart is not the only big name to be mentioned in the report. Brian Lara, the West Indian captain, is alleged to have taken £26,000 from Mr Gupta for under-performing in two one-day matches in 1995.

Perhaps most shocking is the report's claim that the former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin has confessed that he helped to fix the outcome of matches.

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