New Delhi: The Marlon Samuels match-fixing controversy is getting more confusing by the moment. West Indies captain Brian Lara has backed his young player but his cricket board says it will launch a probe.
The ICC says it has not yet discussed the implications of the allegations.
Brian Lara has always stood up to the test. Now, he's standing up for Marlon Samuels. Downplaying the spectre of match-fixing that seems to have clouded Samuels' career, Lara has backed Samuels to be key to the Caribbean's World Cup chances.
"I have been unable to contact the WICB or, more importantly, Marlon Samuels, as the report emerged whilst I was in London overnight. Ultimately, I would like to speak to Marlon Samuels to let him know that he has the full support of myself and the other players. He needs to stay focused on the things he can control. We have a World Cup to win," Lara said.
An unwelcome distraction just a month before the World Cup, the West Indies Cricket Board has promised to launch an investigation into this matter. But the ICC, when contacted by CNN-IBN, said it would be discussing the issue over the next few days, and also denied reports about sending an Anti-Corruption team to Nagpur.
Expectedly, the BCCI wants to wash its hands off the matter.
"BCCI is very serious for any match-fixing matter, but this involves total jurisdiction with the police department, and whatever report we got from the police department has been forwarded to the ICC for their consideration," Board secretary Niranjan Shah says.
There has been a welcome relief though for former Indian all-rounder Robin Singh whose name has been cleared by the Nagpur police.
"The name of Robin Singh appearing, I can tell you that we are not sure whether it was Robin Singh who used to play for India, or if the name was Robinson. I am not sure about it. And the name also, wherever it has appeared, has appeared in passing references, and not incriminating him for any shady thing according to our knowledge," Nagpur Police Commisssioner SPS Yadav says.
Uneventful one might say, but surely, the matter doesn't end here.
(With bureau inputs)