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BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
"Four bookmakers implicated the players"
 real 14k

BBC Sport's Harsha Bhogle
"Hopefully it will set a precedent for other countries"
 real 14k

President of the ICB A.C Muttiah
"We found ample evidence of match fixing"
 real 14k

banner Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 13:45 GMT
Azharuddin hit with life ban
Azharuddin: Banned for life
Azharuddin: Banned for life
Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin has been banned from playing cricket for life after being found guilty of match-fixing.

Azharuddin and Test player Ajay Sharma have received life bans from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The BCCI said they had decided to impose a life ban on Azharuddin, 38, after he admitted to fixing three one-day internationals.

Board president AC Muthiah said that former Test players Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar had been suspended from the game for five years.

Former team physiotherapist Ali Irani has also been suspended for five years.

These punishments will set an example for the future
  AC Muthiah
The decision came after a meeting of the board's disciplinary committee in the southern Indian city of Madras to discuss a federal investigation into match-fixing.

AC Muthiah said: "These hard decisions have been taken after careful consideration.

"They will set an example for the future."

The players can appeal against their punishments.

They were found guilty by India's Central Bureau of Investigation on the basis of testimonies from bookmakers.

Indian wicketkeeper Nayan Mongia was also named in the report but the BCCI have exonerated him.

Allegations surfaced

Azharuddin was one of India's greatest ever batsmen, having scored more than 15,500 runs in Tests and one-day matches during a 15-year international career.

He, together with Jadeja, was dropped from the Indian squad four months ago after the allegations surfaced.

Prabhakar and Sharma retired from the game a number of years ago.

The BCCI ordered an internal inquiry following the publication of the CBI report.

Accepted money

K Madhavan led the inquiry and he concluded that Azharuddin was guilty of match-fixing and three others - Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma - had links with bookmakers.

All protested their innocence, with Azharuddin claiming that the CBI were not interested in his side of the story.

It is alleged that Azharuddin accepted large sums of money from bookmaker MK Gupta in return for fixing matches.

The latest life bans come after former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje received the same punishment life for accepting money in return for match information.

And the Qayyum report in Pakistan, which was published earlier this year, called for life bans on former Test players Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rehman.

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See also:

05 Dec 00 |  Corruption in Cricket
Azharuddin's laid-back talent
28 Nov 00 |  Corruption in Cricket
Azhar faces Indian Board
28 Nov 00 |  Corruption in Cricket
MacLaurin regrets Azharuddin downfall
27 Nov 00 |  Corruption in Cricket
Azharuddin found guilty
27 Nov 00 |  Sports Talk
Are the punishments right?
23 Nov 00 |  Corruption in Cricket
Azharuddin pleads innocence
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