Bosses stay mum
Paes, Siemerink move into title round

Calcutta, April 30 
Cricket�s top administrators will be calling for absolute transparency in tackling match-fixing when the International Cricket Council�s (ICC�s) Executive Board meets in London Tuesday and Wednesday, but they are themselves mum in the lead-up.

�I�m afraid I can�t say anything as our lawyers have advised I only speak behind closed doors (in London),� United Cricket Board of South Africa managing director Dr Ali Bacher told The Telegraph this afternoon, shortly before his departure from Johannesburg.

The city-based ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya, too, wasn�t very forthcoming. Speaking just before leaving for New Delhi, en route to London, Dalmiya said: �I can�t comment on specifics but, generally, I�ll certainly be making two points � this is our one chance to help cricket regain credibility and, secondly, taking either a regional or purely nationalistic view won�t help...�

Both are key figures.

Intriguingly, the two gentlemen talking at some length have been the Australian Cricket Board chairman Dennis Rogers and ICC chief executive David Richards.

Rogers, a genial sort, has called for a life ban on those guilty of match-fixing, while Richards has indicated (if a report in the British media is correct) even �amnesty� could be granted � with the larger aim of ferreting information which would otherwise not be revealed.

It�s an incredible point of view. Yet, when Richards (and Rogers) could have done cricket an enormous favour by making an example of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, both connived in a cover-up. Clearly, anything they say now should be viewed with their past record as a backdrop.

At the moment, the Hansie Cronje scandal and Dr Bacher�s allegation that two matches in last year�s World Cup were fixed, is set to dominate discussions. And, ICC-watchers fear things could go out of hand if Dr Bacher goes hammer and tongs after the sub-continent.

India and Pakistan are both incensed with quite a few of Dr Bachers�s observations.

Incidentally, owing to an �important assignment� Lt General Tauqir Zia, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, will not attend the meeting. Instead the PCB�s director of operations (Yawar Saeed) will stand in. Also it has now been confirmed that the rather damning Justice Malik Mohammed Qayyum report will only be placed before the ICC at its AGM, in June.

Meanwhile, while the hassled Dalmiya can draw some comfort from the Union Government ordering a CBI inquiry � a pointer that India means business � he may not be too amused by the presence of Inderjit Singh Bindra in London.

Bindra, a Dalmiya-baitor for the past three years, reportedly left on Friday night itself and could embarrass Dalmiya and the BCCI, which will be represented by president A.C. Muthiah.

Of course, Bindra will not be present at Lord�s when the Executive Board meets, but, he could always try and influence some of those who will have a voice on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Besides all nine Test-playing nations, three Associates are on the Executive Board � Bangaldesh, Kenya and Denmark.

Bangladesh, it may be recalled, has already slammed Dr Bacher for hinting Bangladesh�s stunning win over Pakistan (in the World Cup) was rigged.    

Calcutta, April 30 
Leander Paes and Jan Siemerink won their third straight three-setter en route to the title-round of the $100,000 Bermuda Challenger.

According to information received here, the top seeds beat Jocelyn Robichaud (Canada) and Michael Sell (US) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). The Indo-Dutch pair had earlier been taken the distance by Gregory Williams-Tuomas Ketola and Karsten Braasch-Dirk Dier.

In the final, Paes and Siemerink will meet South Africans Jeff Coetzee and Brent Haygarth, who ousted James Greenhalgh and Andrew Illie 6-3, 6-4.

Paes, who lost in the first round of singles here to Sebastien Lareau (in another three-setter), is due to play with Siemerink in the US Men�s Hardcourt championship beginning in Orlando tomorrow. The Indian No. 1 will also feature in singles, having got a direct entry to the main draw.    


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