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The Sydney Morning Herald

Racial split fears grow

Author: Mark Ray and Martin Blake
Date: 22/06/2000
Words: 353
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: Sport
Page: 44
Fears of a black-white split in world cricket at next week's meeting of the International Cricket Council have increased with news of Sri Lanka's uncertain status, and comments in the British media that the inevitable admission of Bangladesh as the 10th Test-playing country is a scandal designed to increase the power of the Asian cricket nations.

The English see the admission into Test cricket of a club-standard team from Bangladesh as a move designed to increase the voting power of the Asian nations at the ICC. Bangladesh will give Asia four votes from 10 rather than the current three from nine.

As well, the recent formation of the Asian Cricket Foundation, run by India's outgoing ICC chairman Jagmohan Dalmiya, means that the Asian countries have a ready-made organisation which could co-ordinate any breakaway.

India and Sri Lanka will also come under pressure at the ICC meeting in London.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India will be pressured to explain its sustained inaction over match-fixing allegations against a number of its players and administrators.

Sri Lankan cricket is in disarray after a recent meeting re-appointed controversial Thilanga Sumathipala as president of the board. Sumathipala, whose family is said to be involved in Sri Lanka's legal gambling industry, won back his position earlier this month when a rival candidate withdrew, citing irregularities.

Meanwhile, former Test fast bowler Merv Hughes has clarified a statement he made about attempted match-fixing.

Last week, Hughes told breakfast television about a million-dollar offer received in 1993. But he says the offer was not made to him Hughes says he was referring to an offer made to the Australian team during the Test against England at Birmingham in 1993.

Captain Allan Border and Tim Zoehrer, reserve wicketkeeper on that tour, have said in the past that the offer was made at the dressing-room door by the former Pakistan Test captain Mushtaq Mohammad. Both said the offer was immediately rejected.

Mushtaq has said since that he was joking. Hughes says he has never received a personal offer of a bribe.

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