HT This Day: April 08, 2000 -- Captain Cronje in match-fixing scam | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

HT This Day: April 08, 2000 -- Captain Cronje in match-fixing scam

Apr 07, 2024 04:05 PM IST

Delhi Police uncover match-fixing scandal involving South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje and teammates during one-day series in India.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police have yanked open a can of cricketing worms. And it stinks. South African captain Hansie Cronje and three of his teammates have been implicated in a match-fixing scandal involving last month’s one-day cricket series in this country. India won the one-day series 3-2, after being comprehensively beaten in both the Tests that preceded it.

HT This Day: April 08, 2000 -- Captain Cronje in match-fixing scam . (HT)
HT This Day: April 08, 2000 -- Captain Cronje in match-fixing scam . (HT)

Telephonic conversations between Cronje and bookmaker Sanjay Chawla were secretly taped by the Crime Branch here for almost three weeks, beginning March 13. The tapes provide damning evidence of the involvement of Cronje, Nicky Boje, Herschelle Gibbs and Pieter Strydom in match-fixing in exchange of “huge sums of money”.

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Fellow South African cricketers Lance Klusener and Henry Williams too figure in the “10 to 12” conversations taped by Crime Branch officials, who said the duo’s possible involvement is being investigated. No member of the Indian team is under the scanner, officials said.

At a press conference here this afternoon, Joint Commissioner of Police Dr. K. K. Paul stated that cases of cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy had been registered against the players at Chanakyapuri police station yesterday.

Two Indian bookies, Sanjay Chawla and Rajesh Kalra, have also been snared for their role in the “conspiracy”. While Sanjay Chawla left for London shortly before the cases were registered, Rajesh has been arrested and remanded to two days police custody.

“Interpol will be contacted for all future action to be taken against these players. The Enforcement Directorate will also be approached as there is information that the players have been paid money through the hawala route and into bank accounts abroad,” Dr Paul said.

Crime Branch officers made the breakthrough after receiving a tip-off about an “international racket of match-fixing and betting” between businessmen in the capital and some of the South African players.

Permission was immediately sought from Government authorities to monitor phones and cell phones of the suspects. Conversations between Sanjay Chawla and the South African captain.

“Hansie used a cell phone that was given to him by Kalra,” the Jt Commissioner said. “We began taping the conversations on March 13 and carried on right up to the Sharjah series.”

The cellphone used by the South African captain reportedly had Global Sim Card that facilitated its use right through the series in India and abroad too.

“Our cross-checks showed that the room number mentioned on telephone was indeed the captain’s room and the voice too matched his. Thereafter we tracked his movements and matched the areas where he spoke to Sanjay,” said a senior police official investigating the case.

Johannesburg: Hansie Cronje and three of his players have denied allegations of any involvement in match-fixing, reports Reuters.

In an official statement issued by the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA), Cronje said: “I have been informed by the UCB of the statements that have been made in the media and I am stunned. The allegations are completely without substance.”

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