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Cronje offered me money: Gibbs

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 16:04 IST
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Delhi Police on Thursday said that South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs was part of the "conspiracy" in the 2000 match-fixing scam admitting to have received offer of money twice for under-performing in a match.

Six years after the scam broke out, Gibbs, who made his first visit to India for the ongoing Champions Trophy, appeared before a team of Crime Branch officials accompanied by his lawyer Peter Whelan.

Joint Commissioner of Police, Ranjit Narayan who headed the team of interrogators, told a press conference later that Gibbs confessed to have received the offer twice from late captain Hansie Cronje and was part of the conspiracy. 

Explaining the nature of the offer, Narayan said Gibbs was asked to "under-perform in return of certain amount of money".

Narayan also said Gibbs may be required for questioning again and his lawyer had agreed to it.

Gibbs did not name any Indian players though, he said.

"The interrogation took place in a manner in which we had wanted. All the gaps and loopholes have been filled and we can now take the investigation forward," he said.

The senior Delhi Police officer said a Letter Rogatory (LR) had been sent to South African authorities in 2000 and they were still awaiting a reply.

"The questioning of Gibbs was within the broad contours of this LR and we managed to fill in all the gaps. We gave them an idea in advance what questions we would ask and we got the information that we wanted.

"Gibbs accepted receiving the offer and agreed he was involved in the conspiracy.... But he said he was only following what his captain had asked him to do."

Narayan said the Delhi Police will now seek the bank details of Gibbs.

"We have told him he might be needed again so that the legal process can move forward," he said after the interrogation which lasted close to three hours.

"Gibbs did not take the name of any Indian cricketer (although) we tried to elicit this information," he said adding his lawyer had assured that the reply to the LR would be sent soon now.

"They will set it right now," he said when asked about South Africa's delay in returning the LR.

Narayan said Gibbs' lawyer admitted that not returning the LR was a "big mistake".

Gibbs was named by Cronje along with Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydon as the players who had agreed to underperform in a tie in India.

The Delhi Police had arrested three persons -- South Delhi-based businessman Rajesh Kalra, late music baron Gulshan Kumar's son Kishan Kumar and Sunil Dhara -- in the case but they were all released on bail later.

The Police are yet to arrest Sanjeev Chawla, the key accused and believed to be hiding in England.

Gibbs, who had skipped tours of Indian in the past fearing arrest by the Delhi Police, agreed to appear for the interrogation this time before joining his team for the Champions Trophy in Mumbai.

Gibbs, who arrived in Mumbai yesterday, is due to join his team later in the day. South Africa are slated to play their first match of the Champions Trophy against New Zealand on Monday. 

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