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Ali Bacher furious over allegations

By Malcolm Conn

JOHANNESBURG, APRIL 8. Outrage over charges of match fixing laid by Delhi police against four South African players, including captain Hansie Cronje, has now reached Government level.

The South African Government is to contact the Indian government to convey the country's concerns about the allegations.

Aziz Pahad, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, has assured United Cricket Board of South Africa managing director, Ali Bacher, that the Government would seek an explanation for reports that South African players' telephones were tapped while they were on an official cricket tour in India.

Bacher is furious at such an invasion of privacy.

``It's totally unacceptable,'' he said.

``Imagine how the Indian Government and cricket board would react if Sachin Tendulkar was on a tour of South Africa and his phone was bugged at the Sandton Sun Hotel (in Johannesburg).''

The Government is also to ask for an explanation regarding the process by which the allegations against the four players were made public.

No Indian official has yet contacted the UCBSA, the players concerned or South African officials in India or in South Africa.

The UCBSA is dismayed that the integrity of South African cricket and its players has been questioned.

``We remain adamant that our players have never been party to match fixing,'' said Bacher.

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