Vinod Kambli raises questions about 1996 world cup semifinal

NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – International Cricket  Council (ICC) President Sharad Pawar today joined the  Indian cricket board (BCCI) in dismissing former player Vinod  Kambli’s claims of possible corruption in India’s 1996 World Cup  semi-final loss to Sri Lanka.
A teary-eyed Kambli recently told a television channel he  had doubts about some of the decisions, including opting to bat  first, taken in the Kolkata match, which Sri Lanka won by  default following crowd trouble at Eden Gardens.
Chasing 252 for victory, India suffered a batting collapse  and slumped to 120-8 when a violent crowd stopped the game and  Kambli left the ground sobbing.
Pawar had his doubts about the allegations made by a former  cricketer known for his headline-grabbing penchant.
“If he is honest and committed cricketer, he should have  informed all. Even if he knew something, he kept quiet,” Pawar  told Indian media.
“I honestly feel his allegations are an irresponsible  statement. I would rather go by what (former India captains)  Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar or Ajit Wadekar say.
“Had he (Kambli) focussed more on his game, he could have  been an asset for the team, just like (contemporary Sachin)  Tendulkar,” Pawar added.
Kambli hit two double-centuries and two single ones in his  first seven tests before his career stuttered, primarily because  of his lack of focus.
BCCI also joined some of Kambli’s former team mates,  including then captain Mohammad Azharuddin, in ruling out any  wrongdoing in the match.
“I don’t think we need to attach any importance to someone  who wakes up 15 years after the incident to make these  allegations,” BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla told reporters.
Sports Minister Ajay Maken, however, called for a probe into  the allegations.
“When a player of the team has made a charge, it should be  thoroughly investigated,” Maken told reporters.
“It should be properly investigated and if something wrong  has happened then the culprits should be punished.”
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers  Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed this month for  taking bribes to fix incidents in last year’s Lord’s test.

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