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  Wednesday, 1 November, 2000, 15:49 GMT
Truth will out in the end
CBI's PN Sawani hands his report to Indian sports minister Dhindsa
CBI's Sawani (left) hands report to minister Dhindsa
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew shares his thoughts on the depressing news that the match-fixing scandal now reaches every corner of the cricket world.

It really is impossible to know what to make of the latest series of match-fixing allegations to rock international cricket, but it's fair to say that we cannot be surprised by them any more.

Such was the shock when Hansie Cronje was first implicated that it is safe to say that there is a possibility that, literally, anyone might have been involved in this terrible business.

We must, however, treat the latest accusations with caution.

Corrupt

The picture painted by this report - which is made up almost entirely of the evidence of an Indian bookmaker - is of an attempt to corrupt international cricket in the past decade through match-fixing.

Nine former captains worldwide have been mentioned and while these have been met with angry denials, the fact remains that the same man, MK Gupta, has been known to have had dealings with a number of players in the past: Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and, most famously of all, Hansie Cronje - all of whom are named in this report.

The allegations are wide-ranging. We already know that Warne and Warne refused to fix matches and Mr Gupta has stated that Stewart was not interested, either.

However, far more serious are the claims of match-fixing made against Azharuddin, Ranatunga and de Silva, and of under-performing in the case of Brian Lara.

Difficulty

The difficulty will be proving these allegations to be true. Stewart has already insisted that he has never knowingly met Mr Gupta and that he certainly has never received any money from him.

Until Sir Paul Condon, the official ICC investigator, gets his teeth into all the allegations made in this 162-page report, much of what it contains will remain hearsay.

Rather than be depressed by the almost daily revelations, we must be delighted that a thorough investigation has, once again, not shirked from its responsibilities, and that the CBI must be confident enough in its findings to release names in what is an increasingly litigious climate.

The truth will out in the end and those players who are found to be guilty deserve no more than the measure of disdain they have shown to the game, and whose avarice has damaged the integrity of cricket for ever.

In-depth section on corruption in cricket

The clean-up begins

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