The Delhi Police and the BCCI on Tuesday denied that they had reached an agreement with the South African cricket board to allow Nicky Boje and Herschelle Gibbs, who figure in the matchfixing scandal, to travel to India for the Champions Trophy, without them being questioned by the police.
The denial came in response to reports from South Africa, which quoted Tony Irish, secretary-general of the South African Players Association, that there had been a significant progress to resolve the legal tangle regarding the questioning of Boje and Gibbs. Irish reportedly said negotiations were going well and "we're well down the road that will make it possible for Herschelle and Nicky to tour India".
BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said they had received a request from Cricket South Africa that the police must not question the duo if they came to play in the Champions Trophy, scheduled in October-November. "But we've made it very clear that we won't interfere with the case and it's up to the Delhi Police to take a final decision on this," he said.
Sources in the Crime Branch, which blew the lid off the match-fixing scandal in March 2000, said they would question the two cricketers if they came to India. "We've waited for over six years to question them. If they are here, they'll surely be questioned. We've a case in which their names figure and investigations can't be completed unless they're examined," an officer said.
Police Commissioner KK Paul said he could not comment as he had not heard anything from the South African board. "This is something that has just appeared in the media," he said.
Gibbs and Boje, who had been given a detailed questionnaire by the police, have not travelled to India since the match-fixing scandal broke out.