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Monday, 18 June, 2001, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Match-fixing 'still going on'
Anti-corruption investigator Sir Paul Condon believes cricket matches have been fixed since his team was established by the International Cricket Council last year.
"My own view is that things are still going on within matches. Sadly, I do think events have been fixed in the last year.
"There are a small number of matches and a small number of players involved," he told a news conference at Lord's.
The ICC's Executive Board has given unanimous backing to proposals by Sir Paul which are aimed at removing corruption from the game.
But cricket's world governing body is still not in a position to name players and officials who Sir Paul's Anti-Corruption Unit suspects may have been involved in match-fixing.
Sir Paul's report, submitted last month, contained 24 recommendations, all of which have been adopted by the ICC.
One of them envisages that players will be invited to become members of the ICC and share responsibility for running the game.
Sir Paul told the news conference that the report gave the ICC "a blueprint to put match-fixing in the past".
He said that it would be "daft" to make details of ongoing investigations public, but acknowledged that he believed games had been fixed since the formation of his Unit last year.
The ACU has, however, given bookmaker MK Gupta a deadline of 1 July to come forward to give formal evidence.
Gupta's allegations, made to India's Central Bureau of Investigation, last year led to a number of leading players coming under suspicion.
They include England's Alec Stewart, Mark Waugh of Australia, Brian Lara of the West Indies, Sri Lankan duo Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga and New Zealand's Martin Crowe.
A report on de Silva and Ranatunga is nearing completion and Sir Paul plans to interview Crowe at the end of the month.
All of them have flatly denied being involved in match-fixing and Sir Paul said that without Gupta's evidence it would be difficult to take disciplinary or legal action.
"If we do not hear from him, we must assume he is not prepared to co-operate further. Gupta will either agree to be a formal witness or he won't."
Sir Paul played down newspaper reports which said he was "frustrated" by the delay in interviewing Stewart.
"I am anxious to see him and him me. That meeting will take place; Alec Stewart's lawyers have dates and we are waiting for details for an early meeting," he said.
"We contacted them with all the dates we're available and I look forward to hearing from them."
Boards can take action
There is strong pressure on the Council to start naming names.
But Sir Paul said there would be no single "naming and shaming report".
He added: "Clearly we are looking back as to what happened in the past. If we find evidence, we are placing it before the relevant authority.
"But it's a fact of life, if you have got a corrupter and someone who has been corrupted, by and large neither of them has got an interest about talking about it or acknowledging it."
The onus remains with the individual cricket boards to take action against any players found guilty.
Sir Paul's recommendations also include the appointment of full-time security managers for each Test-playing nation, restrictions on the use of mobile phones by players and the development of a training and awareness programme.
ICC president Malcolm Gray said it would be up to new chief executive Malcolm Speed to work out the details for implementing them.
"The ICC will be in a stronger position if it continues to evolve from its origins as a loose and fragile alliance into a modern regulatory body whose role is clarified and whose transactions are more transparent and accountable," Sir Paul added.
Five players have so far been banned for life following investigations in their own countries.
They are: South African Hansie Cronje, Indians Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma, and Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rehman of Pakistan.
MK Gupta, the bookie
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