The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I accepted Cronje’s offer, says Gibbs
Gibbs in Delhi. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Oct. 12: Delhi police had given Herschelle Gibbs a questionnaire in South Africa on the match-fixing scandal, but his replies hadn’t satisfied them. The police today asked the batsman, who is in India for the ICC Champions Trophy, the same questions and three more face to face.

Here are the questions (the three new ones are at the end) accompanied with the replies Gibbs gave today — “satisfactorily”, in a police source’s words.

The answers aren’t a verbatim reproduction but are based on what police sources present at the interrogation revealed.

Q: What is your present and permanent address'

A: The same as on my passport.

Q: Were you a member of the South African team which toured India in March-April 2000'

A: Yes.

Q: Had you brought any mobile phone or any other communications instrument with you from South Africa during your visit' If not, how did you communicate with your family members' What was the number of your mobile'

A: Yes. (He gave the mobile number but the source didn’t reveal it).

Q: Do you recognise to whom these phone numbers belong' (Gibbs had been sent the numbers of Sanjeev Chawla, Mukesh Gupta, Manoj Khattar and Hamid Qasim “Banjo”, the bookies implicated in the case).

A: No.

Q: Do you know someone by the name of Sanjeev Chawla or Sanjay (another name Sanjeev was known by)' Have you ever met him' Do you recognise him'

A: No.

Q: Do you know Hamid Qasim Banjo' Have you ever met him or spoken to him while in India or South Africa'

A: Yes, I have spoken to him.

Q: In which game of the Indian tour (in 2000) did the late Hansie Cronje (then Gibbs’s captain) approach you'

A: Before the Faridabad match (a one-day international on March 15 that South Africa won by two wickets. Cronje scored 66 and was selected Man of the Match).

Q: Who were the other players he (Cronje) had approached with the offer'

A: Nicky Boje, Derek Crookes (a new name to appear in the investigations), Peter Strydom, Henry Williams.

Q: Did Hansie Cronje speak to you to give away (throw) the game in lieu of some consideration in the match played in Faridabad, and what was the amount offered'

A: Yes. The amount was not clear to me.

Q: As per the conversation between Hansie and Sanjeev Chalwa, Hansie asked Sanjeev Chawla for $25,000 for each player. Did Hansie Cronje offer you this amount'

A: As I said, I was not clear about the amount to be paid.

Q: How many times were you approached to influence the outcome of the (Faridabad) match'

A: Once.

Q: Did you agree to accept the money and how much'

A: Yes, I accepted the offer. The amount was not clear.

Q: Can you explain the move to open the bowling with Derek Crookes' (When this question was framed, it hadn’t been clear whether Crookes, a spinner, was aware of the plot. He became a suspect today with Gibbs saying he had been approached by Cronje.)

A: It was Cronje’s decision.

Q: Is it true that your captain had approached you personally and offered you large amounts of money for giving away the game'

A: Yes.

Q: Have you earlier given any statement to any agency or commission regarding the above discussed matter'

A: The King Commission in South Africa. (It was a probe by a judge.)

Q: Do you accept that Hansie largely fixed cricket matches played in India during the year 2000 tour and you were party to it'

A: I am not aware.

Q: What was your deposition before the King Commission of inquiry' Did you confess to any wrongdoing' Please specify the amount paid by Hansie Cronje and also disclose the advice given by him not to reveal the entire truth.

A: I told them I was approached by Hansie Cronje on the tour. The amount was not clear. I have already told the King Commission I was advised (by Cronje) to keep mum.

Q: Have you gone to London since 2000, and have you had any contact with Sanjeev Chawla (who is allegedly in hiding in London)'

A: No.

Q: Were you or any other player you know approached at any point other than that particular match' What happened in that/those cases'

A: The entire South African team was approached for under-performing in 1996. (It’s not clear whether this was during the World Cup). Two players out of the team of 11 refused, so we had to turn down the offer.

Q: Were you one of the two'

A: No.

Q: Do you know of any Indian cricketers approached by the bookies for the matches that you were approached for'

A: No.

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