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Gamblers’ arrival under watch

Cape Town, Feb. 1 (Reuters): Suspected cricket fraudsters have been targeted by South Africa’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) with just a week to go before the World Cup opens, it was reported on Saturday.

Vusi Mavimbela, head of the NIA, said that his organisation was monitoring arrivals in South Africa for individuals named on an ICC anti-corruption unit’s list of suspects having links to cricket betting scams.

“We have to protect the integrity of the World Cup and if we have information that one or more people on the list were coming into the country, we will monitor them,” Mavimbela was quoted as saying in Independent Group newspapers.

“We know that there are third parties normally involved and if they are communicating over the internet they may be using codes, so it is a huge task. But we will do as much as we can to make sure that this World Cup and its integrity is not compromised.”

Namibia ready for test

World Cup debutants Namibia are determined to make an impact at the World Cup and not just make up the numbers in the tournament, captain Deon Kotze said on Saturday.

“Every time we step onto the field we’re going out there to win,” Kotze told reporters after arriving in Johannesburg.

Namibia, one of four non-Test playing nations in the tournament, earned their World Cup berth by reaching the 2001 International Cricket Council Trophy final in Canada.

“We went to Toronto as massive underdogs, but we came through due to our commitment,” Kotze said. “If we have one strength it’s our team spirit and togetherness.”

Namibia are in pool A with Australia, England, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands.

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