Indian Police Identify More Bookies in Match-fixing Scandal

Published May 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Indian police on Sunday said that they have identified a string of bookmakers linked to the match-fixing scandal involving disgraced South African skipper Hansie Cronje. 

The claim came a day after former Indian all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar left the country gasping by displaying at a news conference video clips of his private conversations with a string of domestic cricketers and administrators of the game. 

New Delhi Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma said his detectives were collecting more evidence to buttress charges that Cronje, Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom took money to fix matches here. 

"I cannot say we have been able to identify all the bookies involved in the case, but we have definitely identified seven to eight prominent bookies," Sharma told the Press Trust of India. 

The police charges relate to five one-day internationals South Africa played in India between March 9 and 19. India won the series 3-2. 

Cronje, who had initially denied the allegations, was sacked after he admitted having been "dishonest" with the South African cricket board over his activities in India. 

Delhi police chief Sharma said the half-dozen bookmakers identified by his detectives were based in Bombay, Calcutta and New Delhi. He added that the police were not in a hurry to arrest them. 

"We don't want to hurry things as any hasty move will damage the good work done so far," he said. 

The Delhi police last month arrested alleged bookmaker Rajesh Kalra and Indian film actor Kishan Kumar. They said the pair, along with their London-based partner Sanjiv Chawla, were involved with the four South Africans in fixing matches. 

Police have said they have tapes of purported conversations between the disgraced South African skipper and Chawla as proof. 

Sharma said a team would be sent to South Africa and Britain in case "voice samples" of Cronje and other information sought through Interpol did not come in - (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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