Sri Lanka Fights Cricket match-fixing

Published July 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Sri Lanka's Cricket Control Board announced on Monday secret measures to prevent match-fixing in a triangular series with South Africa and Pakistan. 

Cricket board chief executive Dhammika Ranatunga said the cricket boards of Pakistan and South Africa had also taken steps on their own to ensure that the tournament was not manipulated by bookmakers. 

"We have taken very stringent measures," Ranatunga said. "We can't discuss them publicly because then it would be counter productive. It is done to restore confidence in the game" 

The triangular involves South Africa and Pakistan, two countries whose international players have been tainted with allegations of accepting bribes from bookies and charges that they threw matches. 

Pakistan manager, Mohammed Nasir, blamed India for the match fixing scandals plaguing cricket and said, "the betting centers are based in India." 

Nasir said he had the "highest admiration" for disgraced South African skipper Hansie Cronje who recently confessed to accepting money from bookies. 

"He had great courage to come out and confess. I have the greatest admiration for Hansie Cronje," Nasir said while defending Pakistan players who have also been found guilty by a home inquiry. 

Nasir said the root of match-fixing was in Indian bookies and said India had failed to prosecute the South African players named in the ongoing scandal. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board in May fined Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis, Inzimam-ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar following Judge Malik Qayyum's report into match fixing. Some of them are currently here. 

When the Pakistan team arrived here for a three test series, which is followed by the triangular from Wednesday, there was a strict call monitoring system amid allegations that bookies were getting through to players on the telephone. 

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's cricket board also announced the setting up of an independent panel to investigate and prevent match-fixing that is plaguing the sport world-wide. 

The board appointed a five-member panel headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to draft a code of conduct for players. 

Sri Lanka's Cricket Board president Thilanga Sumathipala said Sri Lanka had been spared allegations of match fixing but he wanted the panel to recommend ways and means to ensure that it did not creep into the game here. 

"We want to have a committee that will make recommendations and we hope to publish them and also go to the ICC and ask them to adopt such systems to prevent the fraud of match fixing," Sumathipala said – (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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