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Old November 27th, 2000, 12:01 PM
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Mohammad Azharuddin has been found guilty of match-fixing while the other players, except Nayan Mongia, were found to have nexus with bookies by the Madhvan Committee report.

"All players except Mongia had nexus with bookies. Involvement of Azhar is more than that of others, we will take disciplinary action based on the finding of the report," the BCCI president AC Muthiah told reporters emerging out of a meeting with sports minister Uma Bharati.

Madhavan's report was based on the testimony given to him the five players named in the CBI report.

The five players named in the CBI report were Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Ajay Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia.

Muthaiah said the Madhavan Committee has found that the former physiotherapist of the team Ali Irani was the conduit between the players and the bookies and added the bookies used to pay the players through him.

However, the Ferozeshah Kotla groundsman Ram Adhar has been exonerated of any wrong doing by the committee though the CBI had mentioned in its report about he being bribed by Ajay Sharma for preparing a pitch suited to the players.

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Old November 28th, 2000, 11:23 AM
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NEW DELHI: Cricket board will give the "strictest" punishment to those found guilty in the betting and match-fixing scandal, its president A C Muthiah said after the five-cricketers and the physio named in the CBI report appeared before its disciplinary committee here on Tuesday.

"Keeping the future of the game in country in mind, the guilty will receive the strictest punishment," Muthiah said, adding that the committee's recommendations would be placed before the special general assembly in the Calcutta on Wednesday.

The general assembly's verdict will be announced as soon as possible, Muthiah said after expressing his inability to give a time-frame. "It could be Wednesday itself, or a day or two later," he said adding the board was anxious to take its decision and make public the Madhavan report as early as possible.

The board's anti-corruption commissioner K Madhavan has found Mohammed Azharuddin guilty of match-fixing and Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja, Ajay Sharma and physio Ali Irani having nexus with bookies.

Muthiah said the five cricketers - Azharuddin, Jadeja, Prabhakar, Sharma and Mongia - and physiotherapist Ali Irani denied their guilt though all of them agreed that Madhavan had reported their statements correctly.

Mongia has been exonerated by Madhavan, but the board was still to take a final view on him, Muthiah said.

Of the six, only Prabhakar and Jadeja spoke to reporters with the former claiming victory, while the latter said there was no change in his stand that he was not involved in any wrong-doing.

According to Muthiah, Azhar had nothing to say about the Madhavan report, but denied the CBI report saying he was an honest cricketer who brought fame to India.

Madhavan, who was also present at the press briefing, said he had received comments from the board regarding the critical observations on its functioning in the CBI report.

"I have submitted my supplementary report. My report is complete," the former CBI joint-director said.

Madhavan denied Prabhakar's charge that his allegations against Kapil Dev were not taken up by him (Madhavan) because he had no brief from the board.

He said as the board's commissioner he had the right to choose the evidence.

About the charge of nexus with bookies in regard to some of the players, Madhavan said he had sufficient evidence with him.

The board's watchdog said he would not like to speak about his report till BCCI decided to release it.

Azharuddin, who was whisked in and out through a back door, was seen smiling when getting into his car on his way back.

Scores of mediamen thronged the lobby of hotel Taj Man Singh an hour before the meeting was scheduled to take place. While early birds Mongia and Irani walked in comfortably and Prabhakar was escorted by the hotel's security staff, Azhar and Jadeja were taken in through a back door.

The last player to come in was Ajay Sharma who first went to the other Taj (Palace) hotel in south Delhi before realising his mistake.

While other players sneaked out of the hotel, reporters managed to get a few words from Prabhakar and Jadeja.

Prabhakar, claimed the entire proceedings were a victory for him though the CBI and Madhavan reports have been "unfair" to him.

"I may have lost a battle but I won the war," he said picking up one of the most famous quotes of Britain's prime minister Sir Winston Churchill during World War II.

"I submitted that the final opinion of Madhavan is not correct," the former India all rounder said, adding that the board's internal inquiry did not go deep into the problem".

He said they were talking about events that took place after he retired in 1996. "At the health club, I run into so many people and get to know them too. But I am not responsible for their activities," said the man who triggered the controversy by alleging that Kapil Dev had offered him Rs 25 lakhs to underperform in a one-dayer in Sri Lanka in 1994, a charge subsequently denied by the legendary all rounder.

Referring to Madhavan exonerating Mongia, Prabhakar said he also should be given the same treatment as it was Mongia who had passed on instructions to him to bat slow in that infamous Kanpur one-dayer against the West Indies.

Prabhakar said Madhavan did not go deep into the issues and just reproduced the gist of the CBI report.

He repeated his allegation that the premier investigating agency was "trying to protect somebody".

Asked by reporters who that "somebody" was, Prabhakar said, "you know better than me" and walked away.

There was a virtual stampede when Jadeja came out after his meeting the three-member disciplinary committee headed by Muthiah.

Amid the jostling in the foyer of the hotel, Jadeja said, "I got one more chance to defend myself".

"I have not changed my statement. Whatever I said at my press conference about my not doing anything wrong, stands".

Board vice presidents Kamal Morarka and Ram Prasad were the two members of the committee who were present. Madhavan too attended the meeting though he was not part of it, according to board sources. (PTI)

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