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The BBC's Kevin Gearey
"Accused of cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy"
 real 28k

UCB's Dr Ali Bacher
"We are absolutely certain that none of our players have been party to this practice"
 real 28k

Saturday, 8 April, 2000, 00:11 GMT 01:11 UK
SA cricket captain charged

Hansie Cronje: Among those charged with match-fixing
South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje has been charged by Delhi police with fixing matches in the recent one-day series with India.

A police spokesman said Cronje and team-mates Nicky Boje, Herschelle Gibbs and Pieter Strydom had been charged with "cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy related to match-fixing and betting".

I have made a 100% effort to win every match that I have played

Hansie Cronje

Cronje said he was stunned by the charges, and described them as "completely without substance".

In a statement released by the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) he added: "I want to assure every South African that I have made a 100% effort to win every match that I have played.

"It has been an honour to play for South Africa and I would never do anything to let my country down."


Earlier Delhi's joint commissioner of police KK Paul told a news conference: "We will seek the help of Interpol because the crime has been committed by a foreign national and money has been paid in a London bank."

Similar charges have been filed against two Indians, according to police sources.

One of them, Delhi-based businessman Rajesh Kalra, is understood to have already been arrested. The other Indian, Sanjiv Chawla, is said to be living in London.

The charges relate to the five-match series between South Africa and India from 9-19 March. It was won by India 3-2.
Herschelle Gibbs
Herschelle Gibbs: Another big name implicated

The UCBSA statement said all four accused players were emphatic that there was no substance to the allegations against them.

It added: "The UCBSA believes that these players have not been involved in the practice of match-fixing."

Taped conversations

Former national coach Bob Woolmer also leapt to Cronje's defence, saying that his initial thought was that the charges were "a bad April Fool's joke".

"As far as I am concerned these allegations are absolute garbage. He is not the type of person to get involved in anything like this," he said.

But the joint commissioner of police said the authorities had recordings of a telephone conversation between Cronje and Chawla.

Those involved in such fixing have illegally amassed huge sums of money ... and made huge gains by wrongful means

KK Paul, New Delhi police

"From the conversation ... it emerges the one-day international matches between India and South Africa played recently in India ... were fixed for exchange and or consideration of money," KK Paul said.

"Those involved in such fixing have illegally amassed huge sums of money both in Indian and foreign currencies and made huge gains by wrongful means and by clearly deceiving the cricket fans and general public."

Police believe as much as $400,000 changed hands.

Cricket has been rocked by a series of match-fixing scandals in recent years, prompting the International Cricket Council to set up a panel to investigate corruption claims.

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