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CBI denies meeting ACU officials

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Last updated on: September 13, 2005 16:01 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation has denied media reports that two officials from the Anti Corruption Unit of the International Cricket Council recently met senior officials of the agency in a bid to seek assistance in finding a nexus between the Indian bookies and cricketers, who took part in the recent triangular series involving India, New Zealand and Zimbabawe.

Match Fixing: Complete Coverage

"We have no intimation that the two senior officials of the anti-corruption wing of the ICC, namely Martin Hawkins and Alan Peacock, had meeting with any senior official of the agency," CBI spokesman G Mohanty told on Tuesday.

News reports on Monday said the two sleuths were expected to visit Mumbai as well, as the Mumbai police had recently arrested some leading bookies for their involvement in betting on cricket matches.

Delhi police Crime Branch chief Tejinder Luthra too denied having met the two investigators.

"No, they did not meet us," Luthra said.

However, the Delhi police did concede that it is keeping an eye on some leading bookies and hopes to catch them sooner or later and unearth another major match-fixing scam.

The ICC suspects that some leading Indian and foreign players performed much below their calibre during the recent series in Zimbabwe.

New Zeland won the tournament, beating India in the final.

The Delhi police Crime Branch had blown the lid on the match-fixing scandal in April 2000 when it recorded a conversation between former South Africa cricket captain Hansie Cronje and an Indian bookie, now based in London.

Interestingly, Hawkins and Peacock had also investigated the match-fixing scam then, when they were with Scotland Yard. After retirement they joined the ICC anti-corruption wing because of the expertise they had acquired.

Hawkins and Peacock checked in at the Le Meridien Hotel on September 9 and checked out on September 11, which confirms their visit to India.

"They certainly were not on a fishing expedition," said a former Delhi police officer, indicating that despite denials by the CBI and Delhi police there could be more then meets the eye.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi