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ICC investigators reach Nagpur, praise police

The four-member ICC team, headed by NS Virk, has already begun investigations against WI allrounder Marlon Samuels, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2007 23:21 IST

The InternationalCricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption team which landed in Nagpur on Sunday night to investigate West Indies allrounder Marlon Samuels' alleged link with suspected bookie Mukesh Kochar, made it clear that it would only look into matters relating to cricket. They will not go into the credentials of Kochar or his links with the underworld.

The four-member ICC team, headed by NS Virk, regional manager (anti-corruption and security unit), has already begun investigations. They met senior Nagpur Police officials, including DCP Amit Kumar — the investigation officer.

After talking to a few employees of Hotel Pride, where the West Indies team was staying during the ODI against India last month, the ICC team members spoke to police officials for over an hour and a half.

ICC media manager Brian Murgatroyd said that his team was trying to get more details and was looking into all possible angles. He indicated that the ICC would speak with Kochar, who allegedly spoke to Samuels and wanted details about the West Indies bowling and batting orders before the Nagpur match.

"Kochar himself said that he would cooperate in the ICC investigation," added Murgatroyd. He said the bank accounts of Samuels would also be scrutinised.
According to him, all the team members are experienced investigators, having worked with Scotland Yard for 30 years.

Elaborating, Murgatroyd said the team would investigate if Kochhar was indeed a bookie. They will also probe whether Samuels stayed back in India after the series and who all he met during that period.

Almost all the phone calls made to Samuels’s room at the hotel were late at night, which aroused the curiosity of the police.

It may be recalled, the Nagpur Police informed the BCCI about this on February 7. "The Nagpur police has done an excellent job," said Murgatroyd. He was not willing to comment on the match-fixing angle. "It will be too early to draw conclusions. We will be able to tell the exact position after a couple of days," he added.

First Published: Feb 12, 2007 23:21 IST