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Now, Lee and Johnson say they were approached too

cricket Updated: Sep 02, 2010 00:50 IST

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After Brad Haddin and Shane Watson, now fast bowlers Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson also say they were approached by the same Mumbai gangster, who targeted their team mates, for information during last year's Ashes in England.

Watson and Haddin said Tuesday that the gangster approached them during the Ashes and World Twenty20 tournament - all of which were reported to the team management and, in turn, cricket's anti-corruption watchdog.

The Age reported Wednesday that Lee and Johnson were also confronted by the same man in the bar of their West London hotel, the Royal Kensington Garden.

Lee and Johnson rejected the man's offer to buy them drinks in the bar of the Royal Kensington Garden. He also knocked on Haddin's room door at 11 p.m. in the same hotel during the World Twenty20, asking the wicketkeeper if he would like to come to his room for dinner.

All four cricketers reported the approaches to team manager Steve Bernard, who prepared a report and handed it to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.

"The trouble in this case was that the gentleman was staying in the same hotel. The guys weren't approached about spot-fixing or anything like that, he was asking if he could buy them drinks. The players used their judgment and decided to report it to me. There hasn't been any other incident reported to me since then, and I haven't seen that gentleman since," Bernard was quoted as saying by the daily.

The suspected fixer has never been seen by the Australian team since then but, according to the cricketers, he boasted of relationships with players within the West Indian team and was seen approaching Pakistani and Sri Lankan players ahead of the World Twenty20 final at Lord's.

Bangladesh players approached: Board

Dhaka: Bangladesh's cricket board said Wednesday several senior players had been approached by bookmakers ahead of a Test series with India earlier this year.

Vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan and opening batsman Tamim Iqbal were approached ahead of the two Test series against India in January, which the home side lost 2-0, an official said.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) spokesman Jalal Yunus said the incidents were immediately reported to the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, in line with procedures.

The BCB is now organising an "orientation course" for national players to educate them about the dangers of match-fixing and how to avoid bookmakers and shady agents, Yunus said.

"We are taking up a orientation course for cricketers," Yunus said. "They will learn how to detect bookies under the guise of cricket agents.

"They should learn how match-fixing can jeopardise their career and shame the nation," he said.

The move came after global cricket was plunged into a crisis at the weekend as British detectives said they were investigating seven Pakistani players on charges of spot-fixing.

Apart from the orientation course, the BCB will impose more curbs on cricketers in all future tours, Yunus said, adding the players would be told to avoid strangers and report every phone call they receive from unknown persons.

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful told a local daily that he had also been approached by bookmakers during a foreign tour.

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