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$500m in illegal bets on final: ACU chief

Jeff Rees, the newly appointed ICC's anti-corruption unit chief, has said up to $500 million may have been illegally wagered in Mumbai alone for the World Cup final.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2003 18:42 IST

Jeff Rees, the newly appointed ICC's anti-corruption unit chief, has said up to $500 million may have been illegally wagered in Mumbai alone for the World Cup final between India and Australia.

Rees, who replaced Sir Paul Condon as the general manager of the ACU, also said despite all efforts the India-Pakistan match on March one attracted illegal betting of more than 50 million pounds in India's commercial capital.

But Rees emphatically noted that the World Cup 2003 had been free of "corrupting influences".

"We are quite confident this has been a clean tournament," Rees was quoted as saying in the Australian daily The Age.

"That's not to say we're relaxing. There was a lot of betting on the India-Pakistan game earlier in the World Cup.

"Just in Mumbai, India-Pakistan games attracted illegal betting in excess of 50 million pounds sterling," he said.

Condon, who headed the ACU since the Hansie Cronje mach-fixing revelations stunned international cricket, will assume an overseeing role while Rees - a former Scotland Yard detective - overtakes the day-to-day operations of the unit.

Rees said as cricket involves large amount of money, players could still be lured by unscrupulous elements.

"While there are such vast sums of money to be made in cricket, there will always be people trying to corrupt.

"Through our education programme, we are confident that this younger generation of cricketers coming through now will be less likely to be compromised. Players now realise just how dangerous the links to 'innocent' bookmakers and organised criminals are."

First Published: Mar 24, 2003 18:42 IST