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Sight Screen

Monday, October 31, 2005

Three down

First Boeta Dippenaar; now Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje are, we are told, pulling out of the India tour.
From SACA chief ex Tony Irish, this:
Despite this, however, we are still not able to determine the intentions of the police and whether or not the safety and freedom of these players can be guaranteed.
"It is extremely unfortunate because it's very clear to me that Nicky has never done anything wrong and the Indian police won't tell us what they think he may have done wrong.
"He also cooperated with all requirements given to us by the police prior to last year's tour and it is difficult to understand what else he can possibly do now".

And from later in the story, this:
Indian police still want to question Gibbs and Boje about their role in the 2000 match-fixing saga that saw now deceased captain Hansie Cronje banned for life.
Gibbs was reported to have agreed to a match-fixing proposal but reneged on the field. He served a six-month suspension after a disciplinary hearing at home.
Boje is wanted because his name crops up in tapes that Indian police found during their investigations.

Hullo, hang on a sec -- Gibbs confessed to being party to match-fixing discussions; Boje's name appears on a tape that is part of an official investigation; the police want to ask the players some questions (which, if I understand police procedure, is that they do when they are investigating a case).
Even if Boje, like Gibbs, was party to some fixing shenanigans, it is not actionable under Indian law -- so why won't the two players simply meet with the police, answer their questions, provide what information they have, and move on? The whole thing could easily have done -- perhaps even under the aegis of the ICC's anti-corruption committee, at some neutral venue -- any time these last 5 years, instead of this perennial hide and seek the players are indulging in.
What's with this stuff about the safety and freedom of the players, anyway? On what grounds do Gibbs and Boje, or their Indian lawyers, presume the police here are likely to threaten either their safety, or their freedom?


  • The neutral venue option should be good enough for both sides. Seems like the RCA suggested it, but the Indian police rejected the idea. BUT, in a way, these folks are paying the price for being let off so easily... you reap what you sow.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:25  

  • 2 possibilities

    1) One is outright xenophobia and hatred of a non-European country doing this. I am aware of what I am saying, but the fact is that a lot of current South Africans are still not totally over Eurocentrism. If it was Eng or Aus doing this, they would cooperate.

    2) The fear that questioning might lead to the uncovering of much much more dirt and corruption.

    By Blogger Arjun Swarup, at 12:26  

  • Will they also miss the ICC tournament because of match fixing fiasco? While Nick Boje absence may not have a huge impact, Gibbs absence will certainly have an impact in the team performance esp in odis.

    By Blogger rk, at 12:26  

  • hi prem,
    yeah thats point i mentioned long time ago.why the hell they dont meet them even when not on official tour and go through their questions.After this ids the dept that broke whole deal.
    And why they fear, did they shoot azhar or jadeja or any for that reason.
    In interrogation they could have find something juicy too who knows? coz Gibbs confessed, and he may confess more in front of police rather then SA probe.
    And again why no body stands up from indian side(outside police dept) and make it clear that its our laws and we r just following them, how can even SA ask for such guarranty that police can not question them?

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:33  

  • Prem: while I understand the points you make.. if I were in Gibbs and Boje's shoes, I would do exactly the same thing buddy. Why would I take even a 1% risk of being incarcerated in a 3rd world prison where the judicial system (even though better than many other countries - maybe even SA)creaks and quite frankly is corrupt. For that matter, theoretically, would you today visit Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia, if the police in Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia ..was looking to question you. No I am not comparing India to Zim or Saudi..but the "fear of the unknown" may be the dominant issue here.

    By Blogger losing now, at 12:33  

  • losing,
    did they thought that when commited crime?

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:35  

  • arjun may have hit the jackpot on the xenophobia thing. I remember how SA fans reacted when Cronje was exposed... many of them started by first abusing the Indian police, media, team, ground etc etc. until Cronje confessed. And, even then they were not loathe to abuse us.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:35  

  • maher: irrespective of committing crime..which one has to "presume innocent unless proven guilty"..getting a fair trial is the issue..both the perception and reality.

    By Blogger losing now, at 12:37  

  • I agree with Maher on someone standing up and supporting the police. If it wasn't for the Delhi police, we may never have known the malice afflicting international cricket.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:37  

  • losing..
    Gibs allready said he took money, then why not question him?
    and again one who broke case has every right to question possible individuals.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:39  

  • losing now: the perception is driven by xenophobia. while i agree that i wouldn't want to go to Saudi Arabia if their police want to question me, but no Indian player was hanged or thrown into a jail either... sure, they lost their standing among fans, but not put in any serious legal jeopardy. That should be a fair indicator on how the SA players will get treated here too.

    And, negotiating immunity from punishment is different from requesting immunity from being questioned. They can leverage the former to answer police Qs and settle the matter once and for all. This whole episode smacks of xenophobia.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:42  

  • Gibbs was caught red handed for a crime under the jurisdiction of the Delhi police and they have every right to question him. The pardon he received from RCA is just smoke screen... 6-months ban for taking money and saying he did not do as told... you got to be kidding! would the bookies sit tight and let gibbs get away with it??

    By Blogger saum, at 12:45  

  • i would say gibbs struck a deal with his paymasters and said i will not reveal anything if u dont harm me in any way and that's why he doesn't want to be questioned!

    By Blogger saum, at 12:45  

  • guys.. now that the Indian team is winning should i change the nick to "winning now" or wait for these 12 matches to finish ;-)

    By Blogger losing now, at 12:46  

  • oops.. it should be pardon from SA board... not RCA

    By Blogger saum, at 12:46  

  • LOL @ losing now... that's a good one...

    By Blogger saum, at 12:47  

  • and to give this a slightly different twist, how would we react if any one of our players was accused and found guilty of corruption by the Pak police ?

    or even SL police for that matter?

    i just wonder...

    By Blogger Arjun Swarup, at 12:47  

  • losing: If I was an international sportsman being invited to participate in Saudi, by that country? Yes -- more so if whatever I did is not under the laws of that country actionable.
    What did these two do? Conspire to fix matches? Bloody hell, you couldn't arrest Azhar for that, you seriously think you can arrest Boje and Gibbs? Under which section of the IPC? And you seriously think India will be silly enough to risk an international diplomatic incident, by bunging these two blokes into some horrendous prison in Delhi and committing god knows what unspeakable atrocities on them? Come onnnnnnnn! *L*

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 13:01  

  • Prem.. for reasons best known to them, they wont tour India.. Thier call.. And SA's loss.. After all that the Delhi Police has done to accomodate them, if they still insist on not coming, for reasons best known to them, fine by me..

    By Blogger SHRI, at 13:08  

  • Prem: So you will visit Saudi Arabia (as an international sportsman) when the police there has clearly stated that they will question you upon your arrival because you believe that whatever you did is not actionable under the laws of Saudi Arabia. You go .. Brave man!

    Just one request.. talk to your near and dear before you make that trip. *L*

    By Blogger losing now, at 13:09  

  • i agree with losing now. i wouldnot go to saudi under any condition with the zealots in power. i have lived there for 4 months and hated every f#$#$# second of it. the worst coountry in the world

    By Blogger tombaan, at 14:02  

  • And what about this point in the quote It is extremely unfortunate because it's very clear to me that Nicky has never done anything wrong and the Indian police won't tell us what they think he may have done wrong. So Mr Irish *knows* that he has done nothing wrong. Whats the problem in facing the Indian police then?...Does he think that Indian police and judicial system can mis-handle their case...and that too of such high profile personalities!...Imagine the amount of bad reputation involved for India in international forum....and at this crucial diplomatic juncture as well.....

    Prem..I get a feeling that SA is the least *interested* of all teams in visiting India...and I get this feeling every time they come.....to me it seems like they are just somehow eager on fulfilling the mandatory burden of ICC quota of matches..and then get the hell out of here. There's hardly ever any enthusiasm around their visit. Is this true...or just my impression?

    By Blogger worma, at 14:36  

  • Prem,
    You are quoting IPC (Indian Penal Code). However, seriously, just put yourself in the shoes of Gibbs/Boje. Even if there is 1% chance, that they can be detained longer (forget arrest, just "detained" longer) in India...why would they or their family want to take the chance...Sorry, pal, but I think you have to imagine what you or your wife will tell you in that situation.
    Foreign Land, Foreign Rules...God forbid 1% chance that you are Detained/arrested/irritated whatever...PLAY IT SAFE - THE FAMILY WILL ADVISE YOU.

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 14:37  

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