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Gibbs, Boje cleared for ICC Trophy

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 16:16 IST
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Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje's visit to India for the ICC Champions Trophy next month was given the green signal on Friday with the South African cricket board (CSA) clearing them for selection.

The CSA said it appreciated the duo's keenness to play in India and would assist them in meeting their obligations to the Indian police in the match-fixing scandal investigations.

"Herschelle and Nicky have confirmed that they will go to India if selected and that they will co-operate fully with any interviews which the Indian police may wish to hold with them," CSA Chief Executive Gerald Majola said.

"Cricket South Africa will now put forward their names to the selection panel and support them in need, which we hope will assist in the investigation, in order to minimise any disruption to the team's training and playing programme.

"Their lawyers will also be available to take appropriate steps to protect all of their rights."

Gibbs and Boje were mentioned in the match-fixing investigation by the Delhi Police who busted the scandal after tapping phone conversations of late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje during the team's 2000 visit.

Gibbs was banned for six months subsequently.

The duo refused to tour India twice, in 2004 and 2005, fearing questioning and arrests by the Delhi Police who have kept the case file still open.

The Champions Trophy is to be played in India in four centres -- Mumbai, Mohali, Jaipur and Ahmedabad -- from October 15 to November 5.

Gibbs, who called the Delhi police "hard arses" in an interview, said he was aware of the duty of the Indian authorities.

"I recognise that the police have their processes to follow and I am sorry if it has appeared that I was critical of these," he said.

"I think whatever I said may have been taken out of context. I am now really looking forward to representing my country in India at the Champions Trophy."

Tony Irish, the CEO of South African Cricketers Association, said: "Over the last five or six years there was uncertainty about a number of things.

"Legal advice obtained by Herschelle and Nicky has understandably been cautious.

"I think, however, that the players' great desire to play cricket in India again and to participate in this Champions Trophy has overtaken everything else." 

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