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Gibbs, Boje could play in India again!

The South African board hopes Pawar would be able to convince the Indian police to drop charges against the duo.

india Updated: May 01, 2006 10:19 IST

South African cricket authorities are hoping that the new chairman of the Indian cricket board, Sharad Pawar, would assist in resolving a six-year old dispute that has kept top players Nicky Boje and Herschelle Gibbs away from playing in India.

The chief executive of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA), Gerald Majola, said he hoped Pawar would be able to convince the Indian police to drop the investigation against Gibbs and Boje.

The two players are still wanted for questioning by police in India for their role in the match-fixing scandal of 2000 which plunged international cricket into a crisis and saw a life ban imposed on late South African captain Hansie Cronje.

"We are working hard behind the scenes to assist Gibbs and Boje to be able to tour India. We hope Pawar will assist us," Majola said.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Pawar is also Union Minister of Agriculture.

Despite repeated interventions by the UCBSA over the years, no guarantees could be secured against the arrest of Gibbs and Boje if they landed on the Indian soil. The two players were forced to opt out of games not only in India but also in Sri Lanka as the Proteas team was due to go to Colombo later.

There, however, was a renewed hope that opener Gibbs, who served out a six-month suspension for his part in the match-fixing saga, as well as spinner Boje, would be able to play in the ICC One-day knockout series in India in October.

Although Gibbs has been dropped from the national side in the current visit by New Zealand because of his poor form, he is considered a certainty for inclusion in the squad for the World Cup in the West Indies next year.

The tour to India later this year is seen by South Africa as an opportunity to prepare for the World Cup.

First Published: May 01, 2006 10:19 IST