By CricketCountry Staff
Mumbai: Nov 19, 2011
Following is the sensational interview with Vinod Kambli interview which rocked Indian cricket.
For those who don’t understand Marathi, cricketcountry has translated critical excerpts of the highly-damaging interview - please find the translation after the links:
Vijay Salvi: Did Vinod ever speak to you about this matter?
Ajit Wadekar: Vinod never spoke to me about it. I was close to Sachin (Tendulkar) and him during my stint (as manager) with the Indian team. I will speak the truth and what I remember. But I think he (Kambli) has some misunderstanding about our decision to field that day.
Vijay Salvi: Vinod, he (Wadekar) is saying that you may have misunderstood. Do you agree with that?
Vinod Kambli: Just tell me Vijay, Wadekar sir himself has agreed that the wicket became a turner during the second innings. The way the batsmen lost their wickets! If you see, (Sanath) Jayasuriya didn’t get anyone out. Wickets were thrown away. Look at each wicket that fell. Apart from Sachin, all the others threw their wickets away. Look at (captain Mohammad) Azharuddin’s dismissal, he was caught and bowled when we were chasing.
Sir (Wadekar) was saying that there was a team meeting a night before the game, but no such meeting took place. This is because he was ready to leave for Mumbai as he had packed his bags. I am saying this happened because Azharuddin and sir (Wadekar) had an argument.
We practiced only 15 minutes in the evening the day before the semis. Why did it happen? It happened because Azhar said, “Sir, I have to go for some work, so please cancel the practice.” In 15 minutes we packed up. Then, Azhar and sir fought there. Sir wanted practice to continue and asked Azhar to leave as he had some work. He said this in front of us.
After that what happened was, sir went to his room and started packing his bag, Sandeep Patil called me and said sir has was leaving. He asked me and Sachin to come quickly. We both went and spoke to sir and told him it is the semi-final, ‘Why are you leaving us? Because Azhar did it, why are you leaving?’
Vijay Salvi: We will come to this later because this matter pertains to the dressing room. All Indians are really interested in your revelations on the 1996 semi-final being fixed. In this respect, I want to ask a question Ravi Mandrekar. Paul Condon made startling revelations about match-fixing being rampant and Vinod’s statements have added more fuel to the fire. The match-fixing allegations have reared its head again in Indian cricket. What do you have to say?
Ravi Mandrekar: Match fixing is prevalent - 100%, I fully agree with what Kambli is saying because the same Wadekar had revealed something - and I have the paper cutting - when (Hansie) Cronje was caught. He had said, “Indian players don’t indulge in match-fixing. I know because I used to tap their telephones.”
He was asked, “Wasn’t tapping phones a crime in itself?”
Wadekar then changed his statement and said the newspaper had misquoted him. The newspaper then published Wadekar’s fax as proof to nail his lie.
Why did the manager think that he had to keep an eye on his players? Why didn’t he report it to the board that he was keeping an eye on them? Does anybody keep an eye on the Mumbai team?
This year during the World Cup semi-final (sic – the in reference was the quarter-final) between India and Australia, I got a call at 9.00 with the information that India would win by five wickets. The call was from a senior editor. When I went for the final, everyone told me that Sri Lanka will score over 264. Where did 264 come from? Match-fixing is rampant. Everybody is involved in match fixing - including the authorities.
Vijay Salvi: Your accusations are too serious when you keep Paul Condon’s claims in perspective. Let me go back to Wadekar. What do you think about Condon’s and Kambli’s allegations which have surfaced within the span of 24 hours?
Ajit Wadekar: He (Condon) was the chief of the anti-corruption unit. I do not know how much cricket he has played. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. We can’t win all the time. You have to know how much the wicket was turning. And what can happen on such a surface. Even if Jayasuriya bowls it can be effective. He (Condon) wouldn’t have have any idea about it. He is making his statements at this stage, but why did he keep quiet when he was in office. That is what I don’t understand. Why is Vinod speaking out after 15 years? He was so close to me.
Anchor: You say that the 1996 game was fixed. Who was involved? Was it a party on the field or off it?
Vinod Kambli: You see for yourself the whole match. Sir says he doesn’t remember exactly and he himself said that the wicket started turning a lot. How would it start to turn so much? Batsmen made the mistakes. Wickets were thrown away and I saw it myself. If I could play Jayasuriya, there were good batsmen who got out to him. All these good players like Azharuddin, Sanjay Manjrekar and Ajay Jadeja, all got out in front of me. I want to ask, How can you get out like that? They play spinners so well. Why is Wadekar saying it is my misunderstanding. I would keep my hand on the Bible or the (Bhagwad) Geeta and swear that on this match, I have my suspicions that some of the players have done something wrong. Look at the way all got out. The groundsman himself said that you bat first. He said it would deteriorate, but they didn’t listen to him. There was a procession of wickets. Sachin gave us a brilliant start and then all lined up. They couldn’t play the spinners and that’s when I had my doubts. I am an honest person and cricketer. I cried for my team and country. Wadekar sir is asking why I didn’t go and talk to him. Sir knows it himself. Ask him. Sir knows everything. What happened the day before the game and when it was going on. When Clive Lloyd called off the game, nobody came out. The officials didn’t, nor did the captain, neither did the coach. In fact, they sent Salil Ankola. How could you field first on the turning track, I want to ask that.