By CricketCountry Staff
Mumbai: Nov 19, 2011
Vinod Kambli, the former India batsman, who had made a sensational claim that he suspected the 1996 World Cup semi-final encounter between India and Sri Lanka was fixed broke down while interviewed on national television.
Click here to watch the video: Vinod Kambli breaks down on television
Rough English translation of the Hindi interview:
Vinod Kambli: I will never betray my country. I will never betray my team. My heart feels lighter today because the 1996 game, I will never forget in my entire life, because my career was finished after this match.
Interviewer: Could anything have been done then?
Vinod Kambli: Of course something could have been done! I was shocked at the decision to field first. We were playing so well throughout the tournament... we were going to be champions, but then after all those efforts this match gets called off. I couldn’t tolerate it. I was standing at one end, and whoever came to join me said we’ll chase these runs but then threw their wickets away. If you will see the clippings of that match, you would know who has done what. I wasn’t given a chance to speak because I was dropped. Ajit Wadekar had made a statement in an article he wrote where he said Vinod Kambli was made a “scapegoat”. That is why I am speaking out today. The weight on my heart has reduced.
Interviewer: Did anything happen in the dressing room? Did you speak to any player?
Vinod Kambli: When I went crying into the dressing room, the whole team came towards me and started crying, but I don’t know who was shedding crocodile tears and who was genuinely crying. I was so hurt and. It was such a setback. It was my dream to win the World Cup like it was for Sachin. Every cricketer, every Indian dreams of it, and my dream could have been fulfilled in 1996. But it didn’t happen. That is why I say, whatever happened Ajit Wadekar knows.
Interviewer: You were so close to achieving your dream. You were in the semis.
Vinod Kambli: We had worked so hard, so hard. We beat West Indies, Pakistan… Ajay Jadeja played so well against Pakistan in that tough game and we won. We reached the semis after winning that tough quarter-final….and then to lose in the semis in this manner. Don’t know what was wrong.
Interviewer: How big a surprise was it when Azhar won the toss and fielded first?
Vinod Kambli: After the toss, everyone was surprised because the batsmen were already padded up. Our openers were padded up and suddenly we are told that we are fielding first. The players were shocked. I am a witness to that. I saw everything that was happening. What was the reason for fielding first when we had decided earlier that we would bat first.