‘Probe Woolmer, Cronje deaths’

2010-09-09 00:00

LONDON — Former Proteas captain Clive Rice has called on investigators to re-examine the deaths of former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer and former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje in the wake of the latest Pakistan betting scandal in England.

According to the Thaindian News website, Rice said he fears mafia betting syndicates had murdered his close friend Woolmer and Cronje.

“These mafia betting syndicates do not stop at anything and they do not care who gets in their way,” Fox Sports quoted Rice as saying.

Rice was reiterating the stance of former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson, who had earlier told Fox Sports that in Pakistan match-fixing “might not be about money, it might be about extortion, and all the things that go on”.

Lawson added: “It could be ‘your career’s over if you don’t do X, Y and Z’. It’s a whole myriad of factors; it’s a different culture and community to ours, and as a result, you get different pressures.”

Rice (61) said he is not surprised to hear the latest match-fixing allegations against Pakistan.

He called on the ICC to urgently introduce reform and enforce strict policing to permanently stamp out the complex web of match fixing and spot fixing crippling the game.

Former Proteas captain Cronje, who was banned for life for his role in a 2000 match-fixing scandal, died in a plane crash near George in 2002.

Rice said that he feared the plane’s equipment was tampered with on the orders of a mafia syndicate.

“I am convinced his death wasn’t an accident,” he said.

Woolmer was found dead in a Jamaican hotel room in 2007 on the morning after his team lost to Ireland at the Cricket World Cup.

He was reportedly furious following the match and, according to conspiracy theories, was murdered to prevent him publicising Pakistan’s alleged match fixing.

 

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