Kambli claims India-Sri Lanka WC semifinal may have been fixed

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Kambli claims India-Sri Lanka WC semifinal may have been fixed

Thursday, 17 November 2011

New Delhi: Former Indian cricketer Vinod Kambli on Thursday made the shocking allegation that he suspected that the 1996 World Cup semi-final played between India and Sri Lanka may have been fixed. A visibly emotional Kambli made the statement while participating in a STAR News debate on ex-chief of ICC anti-corruption unit Paul Condon's statement that in the 90s and in the following years all of cricket's leading countries were involved in fixing major matches.

Kambli said he was suspicious of the captain's (Mohammed Azharuddin) decision to field first even though it had been unanimously decided that the team would bat after winning the toss. India lost the match against the Lankans who shocked the cricketing world by winning the 1996 World Cup.

He added that he was the main batsman left on the crease and could not take the spectacle when the Indian batting order crushed like a pack of cards. The cricketer burst into tears as he recalled that he was removed from the team after the game. "I cried because I thought I was robbed of a chance to do it for my country. The entire team hugged me. Most of us were crying, he recalled." A visibly emotional Kambli went on to clarify that he had never betrayed his country.

It was one of India's most heart-breaking defeats in ODI history with cricket pundits attributing the loss to Indian skipper Azharuddin for inviting Sri Lanka to bat. Skipper Mohammed Azharuddin and key batsman Ajay Jadeja were out without scoring. Both the players served ICC imposed ban for match fixing later. Mohammed Azharuddin was forced to retire later in his career because of his involvement in a match-fixing scandal

Kambli's Contentions:

Why India chose to field despite the unanimous decision that India would bat in the event of winning the toss on a batting pitch?
Why batsmen were quickly falling on the other end inspite of the fact that he was holding out and telling them to go slow?
He says he still can't fathom how six wickets fell within 22 runs. (That day's scoreboard)
Wickets1-8 (Sidhu), 2-98 (Tendulkar), 3-99 (Azharuddin), 4-101 (Manjrekar), 5-110 (Srinath), 6-115 (Jadeja), 7-120 (Mongia), 8-120 (Kapoor).

Kambli's Account of Events:

I will never forget the 1996 match because my career ended after this and I was dropped from the game. I was stunned by India's decision to field. I was standing on one side and on the other end my fellow batsman was telling me that we would chase the target. However, soon after they quickly got out one by one. I don't know what transpired.

"Something was definitely amiss. However, I was not given a chance to speak and was dropped soon after. Our team manager at that time Ajit Wadekar was aware of everything. He had even written an article afterwards that Vinod Kambli had been made a scapegoat.

"We had been playing well during the entire World Cup and even defeated the likes of West Indies and Pakistan to reach the semifinal. Howver, his sudden exit from the game is bound to raise suspicion. Our openers were all set to bat, however, at the nick of time, we learnt we had to field. I got a huge shock after learning this.

"I cried because I thought I was robbed of a chance to do it for my country. The entire team hugged me. Most of us were crying, he recalled. It was not only Tendulkar and other cricketers' dream to win the Cup but mine too," he added.

Sri Lanka won the first semi-final over India at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in front of a crowd unofficially estimated at 110 000. Chasing Sri Lanka's innings of 251 for 8, India had slumped to 120 for 8 in the 35th over when sections of crowd began to throw fruit and plastic bottles onto the field. The players left the field for 20 minutes in an attempt to quieten the crowd. When the players returned for play, more bottles were thrown onto the field and fires were lit in the stand. Match referee Clive Lloyd awarded the match to Sri Lanka, the first default ever in Test or One Day International.

At the fall of the 8th Indian wicket, sections of the crowd vented their disgust with the state of the match by setting fire to some areas of the stands and throwing fruit and waterbottles onto the field. The match was briefly stopped and when play was about to resume, the crowd again threw bottles at the deep fielders. The match referee stopped the game and the game was awarded to Sri Lanka by default.

Kambli suspects 1996 WC semifinal was fixed"Ž
 

The Messiah

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:pound:

why India decided to field first ? is that only reason
 

Sabir

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In the group league match SL chased down Indian score with 6.00 asking rate. They did same in couple of other matches. That prompted India not to allow them field first. If anyone is to be blamed for the defeat that is Jaggu dada for offering an under-prepared pitch where even Jayasurya bowlded Jadeja and Manjarekar round the leg. It is true if SL had to bat second they would have same fate.
 

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I remember this match like it was yesterday. Eden gardens, Calcutta, 1996. All of us Indian fans were in an extreme high after thrashing Pakistan in the quarter finals - no one can forget the way Jadeja smashed Waqar Younis in the QF. After that, the way India capitulated to SL was extremely saddening and disheartening. The Eden gardens crowds disrupted the match in rage, and the match referee Clive Lloyd had to declare the match in favour of SL. :tsk:

But coming to this thread - what is Kambli's contention? That Azharuddin chose to field first, so the match was fixed? Is that the sole basis upon which he bases his conclusion on? :crazy:
 

Sabir

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I remember this match like it was yesterday. Eden gardens, Calcutta, 1996. All of us Indian fans were in an extreme high after thrashing Pakistan in the quarter finals - no one can forget the way Jadeja smashed Waqar Younis in the QF. After that, the way India capitulated to SL was extremely saddening and disheartening. The Eden gardens crowds disrupted the match in rage, and the match referee Clive Lloyd had to declare the match in favour of SL. :tsk:

But coming to this thread - what is Kambli's contention? That Azharuddin chose to field first, so the match was fixed? Is that the sole basis upon which he bases his conclusion on? :crazy:
Azhar, Jadeja surely had fixed some matches in later years, that I can say . But I doubt it was the Eden match. I dont blame Indian batmans; it became unplayble in the later part of the game and spinner like Jayasurya was getting Warne-like turns. Actuallly the stage for the opening ceremony was built on the pitch which caused the damage. Only Sachin could have saved India; he made 60+. After him it was a pack of cards.
 

The Messiah

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We didn't lose the match though :D

match referee had taken money and gave match to sri lanka.
 

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Sabir is right. SL employed a policy of chasing the entire tournament and also in matches preceding the WC.

It was a gamble by Azhar about batting second. He wanted to negate the strength of the Lankans rather than play on the strength of his own team. It was the captains call.
We have seen collapses since. Even during this years WC, India lost 7 wickets for 20 odd runs. Was it fixed?
 

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back then, i recall reading zaheer abbas's article a day before the SF. what he said, india did word to word the same the next day. the article was on how to stop the rampaging bull that SL had turned out to be then.

but yes, why the sudden change at the time of toss to what the team had decided, that raises the question, though kambli by then was of no real use and he cant blame others for having finished his career.

what SL did in '96 was to change how ODI were to be played since. earlier the teams used to consolidate, a score of 70-80 in 20overs used to considered very healthy, final score of 230-240 would be considered winnable most of the times. SL changed all that, they changed the way ODI was played.
 

Ray

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Azaruddin is the whipping boy for all fixing in the world.

Give that chap a break or give solid proof!

Sachin Tendulkar gets to yet another century but India end up on the losing side - How many times have we seen that? Even in this World Cup, the batting legend went past 100 on two occasions but neither facilitated an Indian win. http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/38170/the-myth-about-sachin-ton-and-india-losing

Does it mean that:

1. Sachin is a selfish guy who cares about his record more than a win for India?

2. That he was paid so that he did well but because of the delay thus caused, India lost time to enforce a winning score and so India lost?!

One can always find all sorts of silly excuses.
 

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Question is why Kambli is crying now ? He could have blew the whistle earlier as there were many instances & controversies on match fixing but he kept his mum just to speak now! It seems to me just yellow journalism & loser's foul cry to earn extra bucks from the news channel by this ambiguous revelation. I have seen it on the news channel & the anchor was trying to sensationalizing it out of proportion without any evidence.
 

thakur_ritesh

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Azhar, Jadeja surely had fixed some matches in later years, that I can say . But I doubt it was the Eden match. I dont blame Indian batmans; it became unplayble in the later part of the game and spinner like Jayasurya was getting Warne-like turns. Actuallly the stage for the opening ceremony was built on the pitch which caused the damage. Only Sachin could have saved India; he made 60+. After him it was a pack of cards.
oh yes, that was the time of one man army. tendulkar out and it used to be as good as having lost the match.

how much has india improved since, seems no less a miracle.
 

Ray

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Batsman-bowler sat on the ball
Batsman-bowler had a great fall
All the Bookies' cookies
All the bribers' men
Couldn't put Indian cricket together again!
 

Yusuf

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In the 91 WC, the target for most teams was to reach 100 in 25 overs with not much loss. 30 overs would be 125 run mark and with wickets in hand you look to double the score that is at the 30 overs mark.

However, it was not the SLs that changed how the ODIs are played. It was the New Zealanders who did it with Mark Greatbatch in the 91 WC. The Lankans did it more fiercely.
 

Yusuf

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Prabhakar came out with allegation against Kapil Dev.

Prabhakar and Mongia were involved in an ODI match against the Windies where they scored at a snail pace as it they were trying to save a test match.
 

KS

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i knew it as a fifth grader...bose d k s.
 

Eiffe

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Kambli is just trying to snatch some limelight. he should have said all this the very next day of semifinal
 

ashdoc

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Azaruddin is the whipping boy for all fixing in the world.
Give that chap a break or give solid proof!
dont forget that south african captain hansie cronje ( who himself confessed to matchfixing ) openly said in court that azharuddin was the one had introduced him to matchfixers .
 

Yusuf

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Azhar accepted fixing 3 matches is what i have read.
 

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