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Samuels accused of bookie contact
The West Indies all rounder is caught out by tapped calls.
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2007 06:35 GMT

All-rounder Marlon Samuels has played 83 one-dayers and 23 Tests for the West Indies  [GALLO/GETTY]

Indian police have accused West Indian all-rounder Marlon Samuels of dealing with a bookmaker during last month's four-match one-day series in India, alleging the player revealed important team information during the first match in Nagpur.
Amitesh Kumar, deputy police commissioner of Nagpur, cited tapped telephone conversations between Samuels and the bookmaker, once again putting the spotlight on match-fixing in cricket.

Kumar alleged Samuels had five conversations with Mukesh Kochar, the bookmaker identified in the calls, however there was no evidence that any money had changed hands.

West Indian captain Brian Lara won the toss in the January 21 match and sent the home side in to bat in what appeared to be excellent batting conditions, before India amassed 338 for 3 from their 50 overs with off-spinner Samuels conceding 53 runs without taking a wicket from his ten overs.

In reply, the West Indies managed 324 for 8 with opener Shivnarine Chanderpaul smashing an unbeaten 149 and Samuels contributing 40 runs from 60 deliveries as the Caribbean side lost by 14 runs.

"We have recorded information that Samuels leaked important team information to Kochar from his hotel room in five telephone calls on January 20 and 21," Kumar told reporters on Wednesday.

"Kochar is a known associate of underworld figure Dawood Ibrahim."

ICC to investigate

On the back foot: Samuels will await the
outcome of an ICC investigation [GALLO/GETTY]
"The Nagpur police have informed both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) of the matter," Kumar added.

"We do not have evidence if any financial commitment was made. All I will say is the link between the player and the bookie is a violation of the ICC Code of Conduct for players."

Rajiv Shukla, BCCI vice-president, said the anti-corruption unit of ICC had received a report from Nagpur police.

"It is a serious matter and we have left it to the ICC to deal with," Shukla said.

"I can also confirm that no Indian player is involved in this."

The 26 year-old Samuels, who has played 83 one-day internationals and 23 Test matches since making his debut in 2000, denied any wrongdoing.

"I don't do such things man," Samuels was quoted as saying in Thursday's Times of India.

"I have not done anything wrong. The West Indies Cricketers' Association will take up the matter if necessary."

Controversy on World Cup eve

Commissioner Kumar said Samuels spoke with Kochar from room 206 of the Pride Hotel in Nagpur where both the Indian and West Indian teams were staying, but declined to say why Samuels' phone had been tapped.

"It would not be proper at this juncture to disclose why the phone was tapped," said Kumar.

"It was our job to investigate and bring the matter to the notice of the BCCI and the ICC."

India went on to win the series 3-1, with Kumar adding that he believed no other player from either side was in touch with the bookmaker.

The scandal comes a month before the 2007 World Cup, starting in the Caribbean on March 13.

Source:
Agencies
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