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Bookmaker named Indian players in 1977, Imran says

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    Bookmaker named Indian players in 1977, Imran says

    Former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan said an Indian bookmaker told him that Indian players were involved in fixing matches during a tour to India 23 years ago.

    Imran said that during a benefit match tour in 1977 the bookmaker approached him on several occasions to offer him information on players and countries involved in fixing matches.

    ``He is the one who told me about a few names who were fixing matches but he never dared to offer me,'' Imran said in an interview with Cricket Talk magazine.

    ``He was always at cricket grounds. I never took him seriously. He named a few players. I think he talked about players from another international team. He said they were involved in match-fixing too.''

    Imran blamed the problem of match-fixing on the frequency of one-day matches and said cricket boards were reluctant to take action.

    Referring to the fines imposed on Shane Warne and Mark Waugh for supplying information to bookmakers for payment, he said: ``From the Australian board's reaction, it is quite clear that boards protect their own.

    ``The ICC (International Cricket Council) is completely ineffective...I would have never expected South Africa to be involved. It makes me unsure about everything now. Maybe even Test matches are fixed.''

    The former all-rounder said he was also confronted with talk of match-fixing during the Australasia Cup in Sharjah in 1989 and told his team about it.

    ``I told them what I had heard and warned them that anyone not playing to his ability would not only never play again but would also be jailed,'' he said.

    Khan said he believed cricket could survive the corruption crisis but said a thorough inquiry was needed.

    ``People have to come clean, all boards have to come clean. Players, no matter who they are, have to be punished. Even talking to a bookie should be considered an offence.''