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Former Indian Cricketer Kapil Dev
"I put my heart, my soul, my everything into the game"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 10 May, 2000, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Tearful Kapil denies bribery

Kapil: The 1983 World Cup final turned on his catch
Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev broke down in tears during a BBC interview as he rejected corruption allegations, saying he would rather kill himself than take bribes.

In the interview that aired on Wednesday the clearly distressed former captain said: "I will die. I will commit suicide before I take a bribe.

I put my heart, soul and tears, my everything into the game and this is what I get

Kapil Dev

"I have not taken money. I have not offered any money to anybody.

"I put my heart, soul and tears, my everything into the game and this is what I get.

"I don't know what to do. My wife can't sleep at night. I hold my daughter all night.

"I am ashamed I played cricket. Who wants money? Take all my money. I come from a family where pride is more important than anything else."

Courtney Walsh broke Kapil's Test wicket record

Kapil initiated legal action on Friday against former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India Inderjit Singh Bindra for naming him in an ongoing match-fixing inquiry.

The all-rounder told the BBC he was angered by allegations of corruption that have been levelled at him by two different sources.

"Third party! Third party! What third party? I'm sick of third party. Please for God's sake become the first party and say what happened," he said.

"I have never done any wrong. Never taken any money from any bookie. Please go to my accountant and see my accounts."

I have never done any wrong. Never taken any money from any bookie. Please go to my accountant and see my accounts

Kapil Dev

Claims of match-fixing and illegal approaches by bookmakers have surrounded cricket on the sub-continent since the early 1990s, although the allegations directly relating to Kapil centre on matches played in 1994.

It is claimed that he offered Manoj Prabhakar a bribe to play badly in a one-day international against Pakistan in Sri Lanka in that year.

In an effort to stamp out misconduct, the International Cricket Council announced early this month that it was adopting draconian measures - including life bans - against players found guilty of wrongdoing.

It is also setting up a body called the Corruption Investigation Party to co-ordinate investigations.

Captain of the South African team, Hansie Cronje, sparked one of cricket's biggest crises in March when admitted to accepting money from an Indian bookmaker in exchange for information.
Viv Richards
Viv Richards: Suspects match-fixing in 1970s

Since then, several players and officials have come forward with allegations about match-fixing and illegal betting.

Former West Indies star Sir Viv Richards said in a newspaper interview on Monday that he suspected fixing back in the 1970s, but he spoke out in defence of his old adversary, Kapil.

He praised Kapil's phenomenal talent and attributed India's victory over the West Indies in the 1983 World Cup final to a single amazing catch by the all-rounder.

"Kapil changed everything with one brilliant catch," said Richards.

Kapil left me the lasting impression of being one of the last true great competitors. So let's pray this is not true. Because if this is true, then I would have lost my faith

Sir Viv Richards

"I only know that at the end of the game, there were a lot of sick people in our dressing room. We felt sick that we could not win that game."

He added that he hoped allegations against Dev were proved false.

"I just pray it's not true," he said. "We are only judging from allegations now. It's the word of someone against someone else.

"I have always thought that Kapil was one person who carried the Indian flag to the cricket field.

"He was always the great fighter, he had his chest out and took immense pride in representing his country.

"Kapil left me the lasting impression of being one of the last true great competitors. So let's pray this is not true. Because if this is true, then I would have lost my faith."

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See also:

28 Apr 00 | South Asia
High-level cricket inquiry in India
27 Apr 00 | Cricket
The ECB findings in full
28 Apr 00 | Cricket
Lewis stands by 'fixing' claims
03 May 00 | Cricket
Corrupt cricketers face life bans
04 May 00 | Cricket
Cricket under the microscope