COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS
HELD ON: 12-06-2000
AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK
MS BATOHI: Thank you Mr Commissioner, the next witness will be Dr Ali Bacher.
ARON BACHER: (sworn states)
COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi?
MS BATOHI: Dr Backer will be led by Mr Gauntlett.
EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you Mr Commissioner. Mr Commissioner, I think you indicated earlier that your ruling was in respect of the audio and television equipment and as you indicated Dr Bacher has no objection in that regard, and has, in fact find it assists if anything, his endeavour to communicate what he wants to say, more particularly in relation to events strictly outside the terms of the Commission, but which we believe would be of importance to the Commission as scene-setting and as regards which we would ask the Commission to consider on the same provisional basis as indicated, at the end it may discard material, but we believe it would be of great assistance to the Commission not to be confined to the territorial waters of Robben Island where necessary.
The other thing, Mr Commissioner is that you did indicate that the cameras, there would be as I understood, no further still cameras, it is distracting and if we could now continue on that basis, I would be grateful.
COMMISSIONER: I am prepared to extend beyond the territorial limits of Robben Island, I don't know if I am prepared to go as far as Zoo Lake, Mr Gauntlett, but let's see how we progress.
MR GAUNTLETT: We had other seas in mind, Mr Commissioner. Mr Commissioner, I don't think the operators of the cameras have heard what you have just said.
COMMISSIONER: What I said is that I don't want cameras flashing, particularly in Dr Bacher's face certainly. Ordinary cameras and television cameras are acceptable. If they become a nuisance either to you or to me or to your client, we will reconsider.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher will indicate if the other cameras present a problem. Dr Bacher, you are the Managing Director of the United Cricket Board, is that correct?
DR BACHER: Correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: You are currently 58 years of age, you would confess?
DR BACHER: I would.
MR GAUNTLETT: You qualified as a medical practitioner and you served the years 1969 to 1970 at the Baragwanath Hospital and Natalspruit Hospital in what was then Transvaal, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: 1970 to 1979, you were in general practice as a doctor and since about 1981 you have been a full time Cricket Administrator, is that right? You are not on the microphone, Dr Bacher, if you could just press your microphone and repeat that.
DR BACHER: Since 1981 I have been full time in Cricket Administration.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, you played in 12 test matches for South Africa between 1965 and 1970, you were the South African captain in the four tests played against the Australians in 1970, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: You were captain of Transvaal at what age?
DR BACHER: At the age of 21.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes. Now, you have held your current position as the Managing Director of the United Cricket Board for I suppose about nine years, since 1991?
DR BACHER: That is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, you have prepared a very detailed statement which will enable us, subject to directions of the Commissioner, to go quickly in a number of respects and quite a lot of the evidence, it is clear, has started to emerge and there is a great deal of agreement in relation to it.
You describe in your statement initially by way of background for the Commission, the administrative structure of South African Cricket and I don't believe we need dwell on that, I am sure if there are any aspects which Ms Batohi wishes clarified, she would do so. You have also explained how the national team works, the selection, the players' contracts and you have given an example to the Commission of a standard form contract, concluded by the players.
On page 4 you turn to the issue of remuneration and you divide there players according to the current system, into various categories, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: The remuneration in respect of the players, is set out in a schedule and you give details of how that ranges as between the categories of players. As a generalisation, where would you say is the sort of ball park for senior players currently in the South African team as regards their remuneration from the UCB?
DR BACHER: Over a 12 month period from the United Cricket Board of South Africa, a player like Jacques Kallis or Lance Klusener or Mark Boucher who are top international players today, would earn in the vicinity of between R750 000 and R850 000.
MR GAUNTLETT: In addition would the senior players expect to enjoy other income from sponsorships and matters like that?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, I wouldn't say expect, dependant upon their marketability, their profile within the community, they are entitled to have a personal, individual sponsorship endorsement with the proviso, with the explicit proviso that those sponsors cannot be in conflict with the United Cricket Board sponsors and or suppliers.
MR GAUNTLETT: Can you give the Commission an idea of the sort of ranges, as you have it, of senior players, I appreciate from what you say it varies very much from individual to individual, but of the sort of income some of them to your knowledge, would earn from the additional sources?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, to be honest, I have never asked say somebody like Lance Klusener what Standard Bank would pay him to have been associated over a 12 month period, but I would anticipate that the top players like Lance Klusener could earn, I would have thought in the vicinity of an extra R500 000 from personal and private endorsements.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, the question of the overall level of remuneration of the cricketers, what has been the sort of mood in that regard as you have understood it from the senior players in response to what you are paying, is it a source of grievance? I mean obviously one always like to be paid more, but what has been the mood and response to you in recent times?
DR BACHER: On an annual basis, the Executive Committee and myself would meet with representatives from the national team and that would include David Richardson, who is the National Team Commercial Manager. I can honestly say that we have never had a conflict situation. The issues have been openly discussed, what type of pay would be reasonable in the South African cricket market. We have always come to a very quick and amicable solution in this regard. Let me say that on quite a few occasions Hansie would say to me that our players are very well looked after by our Board.
In fact he might have added, not might have, he did add on a couple of occasions that he thought in fact we were looking after them too well. David Richardson would also testify that in his personal opinion, my Board have looked after the players extremely well and so they should be because they are our marketing tool, they are our product that we can promote the game, sell the game to sponsorships and TV.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, could we turn now to what you deal with on page 8 in your statement and onwards, and that is your own involvement in the disclosures made by Mr Cronje. Before we do that, can we just have a little understanding of your own relationship with Mr Cronje, how far that goes back?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett, I have known the Cronje family for decades. His father, Ewie is here, is a wonderful man and has done wonderful work for sport in the Free State. He is synonymous very much with not only cricket and tennis and all other sports, not only in Bloemfontein but also at the university.
During the 1980's, it emerged very quickly that there were two rising stars in South African cricket, Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes. In the latter part of the 1980's a South African school team was chosen and had as their captain Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes as vice-captain.
My memories go back to 1987 when for the very first time, we took cricket to the township of Rocklands in Bloemfontein. It was mid-winter, it was a very cold wintry day, I shall not recall that day. Ewie was there with Hansie and Corrie van Zyl to start the process of taking cricket to the disadvantaged people of South Africa in that particular area.
My immediate impression of Hansie Cronje that here was a natural leader, a born leader who would ultimately captain South Africa. I don't think that you can as it were, manufacture leaders. You are either born with that inherent motivation, leadership quality, and he always had it, whether he played rugby or he played cricket.
MR GAUNTLETT: When as far as you can recall, did you in fact first get to know him, you said that you have known his father and respected his father as an administrator and a very talented sportsman himself for a very long time, but Mr Hansie Cronje, can you put a year to it?
DR BACHER: Well, he in fact bettered my record and I am not one for records, but I think in the late 1980's, early 1990's as you have indicated, I captained Transvaal at 21, he captained Free State at the age of 20 and immediately the Free State cricket team became very, very successful. In the early 1990's, in fact in Cape Town, they won their first ever trophy in the Benson & Hedges trophy.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now, could you describe for the Commissioner over that period now 13 odd years as I understand it, that you have known Mr Cronje, how would you summarise his qualities as South Africa's team captain?
DR BACHER: An extraordinary asset to South African cricket, committed to South African cricket, dedicated to South African cricket, a role model for the youth of this country, an extraordinary ambassador for the game of cricket internationally.
MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry, you were distracted by some speech, but let's pick it up, you were talking about him as your team captain, the kind of ambassador he was. Would, it is invidious because it starts to involve other people of enormous talent, would you put him in absolute forefront of South African captains that you have known?
DR BACHER: You know, I think there are two aspects to it, one is the motivational side, the inspirational side, the leadership style, the ambassadorial role, the role model role. Certainly in my history involved in South African cricket, I don't think there has ever been a better captain.
MR GAUNTLETT: You have spoken of him as captain, tell us how you assessed him, his qualities as a cricketer?
DR BACHER: There are two aspects to it. When you talk about one day cricket, he was an outstanding one day cricketer, probably one of the best in world cricket, excellent number 5 in the shortened version of the game, wonderful fielder, a good change bowler, who can bowl 10 overs economically in any one day international.
From the one day game, he did exceptionally well and prior to the world cup, there was a period under his leadership of about 18 months where the South African team won about 80% of its one day international matches. In the history of one day international cricket, that was probably one of the team's finest achievements. When it came to test cricket ...
MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry Dr Bacher, could you - I am told that you are causing a bit of a vibration, could you just push the microphone a little away from you or sit back a little bit. Yes.
DR BACHER: Sorry.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you.
DR BACHER: When it comes to test cricket, I would say that under his leadership, we were second to Australia in the international scene. He averaged about 36 in test cricket. I think he had the potential to get into the 40's and most people in international cricket say the good test players average in the 40's.
He had a problem against the bouncer, it was first introduced at Leeds in 1994 by Daryn Gough. I think he worked hard at it, and overcame to a certain extent that weakness in playing you know, really a top quality bowler where there was a high intensity of short-pitched deliveries.
MR GAUNTLETT: And finally, you have spoken of him as captain and as a cricketer. You have obviously worked very closely with him over a long period of time. How did you come to know him as a person? How would you assess him as a person and would you describe to the Commissioner your own relationship with him?
DR BACHER: A very committed person, a deep person, a very serious person. He took his responsibilities as captain of South African cricket very, very seriously. In fact when he lost the odd game and all international teams lose the odd match, even if they are a very good international team, he would almost punish himself for a couple of days, reflecting on as he said it, he would have let down his country.
A serious man, a deep thinker, a very committed person, a good family man and a very good honest South African.
MR GAUNTLETT: Arising from those last words that you have used, what was your experience until the events with which we are immediately concerned, what was your experience of his personal integrity in your relationship?
DR BACHER: Never ever questioned his integrity, never ever.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, let us now turn to these events. They are dealt with as I say, at some length in your statements and we need to follow the sequence through. You start off and Mr Commissioner, there is a typing error you will see in the heading above paragraph 40, it should of course be Friday, 7 April, not 2 April, if you would be kind enough to correct that.
You say there that -
"... during the morning of Friday 7 April and sometime after eleven o'clock, Bronwyn Wilkinson, the UCB's Communication Manager who has already testified, told you that she got a call from a journalist in England who in turn told her that the story was being circulated by Agence France Press, the newsagency, the Delhi police had alleged that Mr Cronje and three other South African players had been involved in match-fixing."
What did you tell Ms Wilkinson in response to this, ask her to do?
DR BACHER: I asked her to get hold of Hansie which she did immediately and to convey to him the allegations that were now emanating from Delhi, from the police in Delhi, which she did.
MR GAUNTLETT: What was your own personal, immediate reaction when she communicated these reports to you, first of all?
DR BACHER: I just wouldn't believe it.
MR GAUNTLETT: What happened when you spoke to Mr Cronje then, for the first time?
DR BACHER: I said "Hansie, you have been informed about these allegations, is there any substance to these allegations"? His response was immediate, decisive, "rubbish, absolute rubbish".
MR GAUNTLETT: And your reaction to that?
DR BACHER: I as I have in the past, previously, accepted his word immediately.
MR GAUNTLETT: We have it that thereafter both you and I and Ms Wilkinson, advised Mr Cronje to switch his phone off and that you would continue to contact him on his wife's mobile phone, cellphone and that you told him that you would deal with the media and you would arrange for a brief statement to be sent to the media. Would you turn in your statement, the Annexure, Annexure 8(AB8) to your statement, is that the first media release which you organised to be sent out after you had spoken to Mr Cronje and he told you that the allegations were absolute rubbish?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, that is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry, would you just read it out, the first press statement, April 7, 2000, Annexure 8, do you have it?
DR BACHER: The heading is "Match-fixing allegations".
"... The United Cricket Board of South Africa is certain that no South African cricket player has ever been involved in match-fixing. The United Cricket Board of South Africa, Managing Director, Dr Ali Bacher, has spoken to South African captain, Hansie Cronje, who is adamant that the allegations contained in press reports in India are completely untrue. Cronje is known for his unquestionable integrity and honesty."
MR GAUNTLETT: We have heard that later that same afternoon, that is Friday the 7th of April, you met with Mr Green, who is a legal advisor to the UCB, Ms Wilkinson and Mr Goolam Rajah, the Team Manager, and that was in Sandton, is that correct?
DR BACHER: Correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: You discussed the content of a statement which you had released and about asking Mr Cronje to come up. You say here -
"... Mr Cronje was reluctant for the very understandable reason that it was their wedding anniversary",
is that correct?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, that is correct. He said to me, it was the following day which was Saturday, was their fifth wedding anniversary and to me it was a reasonable request not to come up to Johannesburg on that day for the press conference and to await his arrival in Durban on the Sunday.
MR GAUNTLETT: You go on to describe in paragraph 47 that by that time the names of three other players allegedly involved, had started to come out of the media reports, and these three other names which were being bandied about were Nicky Bojé, Herschelle Gibbs and Pieter Strydom, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct, Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: What did you do when those reports started to break?
DR BACHER: It was Friday afternoon, April the 7th. I first phoned Herschelle Gibbs, the telephone went like follow -
"... Herschelle, do you respect me? Yes, I do, Dr Bacher. Would you ever lie to me? No, Dr Bacher. Is there any substance to these allegations? He said definitely not, Dr Bacher."
I then phoned Nicky Bojé and the same sequence evolved. I was unable to get hold of Pieter Strydom, his mobile phone was off, I left a message with (indistinct) Bowser from Border Cricket Board, to get hold of him to phone me. He duly phoned me at my home, at approximately 6H30 on the Friday night. I asked him very simply whether there was any substance to these allegations and he emphatically denied that there was any substance to those allegations.
MR GAUNTLETT: That - later that day - Friday the 7th, you prepared a second media release, is that correct? I think it is Annexure AB9 to your statement?
DR BACHER: That is correct mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Would you read that out again?
DR BACHER: Yes.
"... Following allegations that have appeared in the media from India, United Cricket Board South Africa Managing Director, Dr Ali Bacher, has spoken with the four players named in the reports. South African captain, Hansie Cronje is a man of enormous integrity and honesty. He and his teammates, Nicky Bojé, Herschelle Gibbs and Pieter Strydom are emphatic that there is no substance to allegations that they were involved in match-fixing during the one day international series in India. The United Cricket Board of South Africa believes that these players had not been involved in the practice of match-fixing. The United Cricket Board of South Africa and the players concerned, have had no contact from the Police in India and learnt about these allegations through media reports. Hansie Cronje said "I have been informed by the United Cricket Board of South Africa of the statements that have been made in the media and I am stunned. The allegations are completely without substance. I have been privileged to play for South Africa since 1992 and I want to assure every South African that I have made a hundred percent effort to win every match that I have played. It has been an honour to play for South Africa and I would never do anything to let my country down."
MR GAUNTLETT: Now, Ms Wilkinson has already clarified the fact that this statement was worked out on the phone in liaison with Mr Cronje and the words in quotation marks, were indeed a direct quote by him, is that correct?
DR BACHER: Correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, you then arranged for a press conference to be held in Durban on Sunday, 9 April 2000 during the dinner break, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now, on Saturday, April the 8th, you spoke to the South African Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Pahad, why were you speaking to the Deputy Foreign Minister, could you explain?
DR BACHER: I was so confident and so certain that there had to be a mistake, that there could never be any substance in these allegations. I have known Mr Pahad for about 10 years, I took the liberty of phoning him as a friend and to convey to him that honestly there had to be a mistake here, there had to be an error and please could he use his Department to be in contact with his counterparts in India and try to get to the bottom of these allegations.
MR GAUNTLETT: Did you convey it to Mr Pahad as a Deputy Minister in the South African government the kind of assurance that you had had from Mr Cronje that this was all in his words "absolute rubbish"?
DR BACHER: Most definitely, Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Did Mr Pahad doubt that or engage with you on that topic, or did he accept that assurance?
DR BACHER: He accepted the assurance from me.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now later that Saturday morning, the 8th of April, you received a call from Cronje, would you tell the Commission in your own words what happened in that call?
DR BACHER: Yes, he phoned me and you know, the allegations were coming fast and furious, I was being inundated with media throughout the world of cricket and I felt strongly that more than ever, this was the time to strongly convey to him my support for him in this hour of need, on the basis that, as I have said previously, I couldn't believe that there could be any substance to these allegations.
MR GAUNTLETT: Did you convey to him that you had, specifically had spoken to senior government officials to try to clear his name?
DR BACHER: Yes, I did and I also conveyed to him, the Saturday morning, that my strong support for him as our national captain, he had had a very tough season. I think he was very disappointed that after the success against the West Indies in the 1998/1999 season, and getting through to the semi-final of the World Cup in England, that he was only made captain for the first four test matches. I just felt more than ever that this was a time to express from a personal point of view, my support for him as captain. I said to him very clearly on that phone "Hansie, you are our captain, we are going to back you and you are going to lead us to success in the 2003 World Cup."
MR GAUNTLETT: Could you give the Commission an idea of the level of foreign enquiry that you and Ms Wilkinson were handling that day and what you tried to convey?
DR BACHER: One of my responsibilities for the United Cricket Board is to handle the media, and I have done that on my own for possibly two decades. We are fortunate now that we've got an excellent Communications Manager's help in this regard. But I cannot ever recall having taken so many calls internationally over the period Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday on this particular issue.
There were phone calls from Auckland, from Adelaide, from Delhi, from Bombay, from Sydney and it was impossible to answer these allegations, it was a very trying period. I can recall over that three day period that if I would for example go into a meeting with our lawyer, Clifford Green, and I turn off my cellphone and that meeting would say last about 20 minutes, when I turned the phone back on, there were 24 calls and the unit couldn't take any more calls. It really was trying and we were under a lot of pressure, but we did our best to relay to the world of cricket our strong viewpoint that there could not have been any substance to these allegations.
And Dr Bacher, during the Saturday afternoon, did you get a call from the South African High Commissioner in Delhi, Ms Mashabane?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett. Obviously what had happened, Mr Aziz Pahad through his Department, had made contact with her. She phoned me, it was Saturday afternoon, I was coming back from a TV interview with Mabaleng to promote the Australian one day matches, we had a discussion for 10 minutes. I assured her of our support for the former captain, that there couldn't have been any substance in these allegations.
She accepted my viewpoint, she was very, very concerned at the lack of protocol, that the Indian government had not gone through the normal process and informed her before the press conference took place. She indicated to me on the Saturday afternoon that she would ask for an urgent meeting with the Indian Foreign Minister.
COMMISSIONER: May I just correct something, I think you meant the Indian Police, not the Indian government who had breached protocol?
MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry sir?
DR BACHER: No, I am just looking at your statement when you say that our High Commissioner was concerned at the fact, you said that the Indian government hadn't followed the protocol, it was the Indian Police - paragraph 54?
DR BACHER: Mr Commissioner, if I can recall correctly, she said she was concerned that her counterparts, that is within the Foreign Affairs Department of the Indian government, had not come to her prior to that press conference by the Police.
COMMISSIONER: All right, carry on Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you Mr Commissioner. Then Sunday, 9 April 2000 came, the South African team played a practice at Kingsmead and a press conference was scheduled for 7pm during the dinner break, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: What did you do immediately prior to the press conference?
DR BACHER: We arranged to meet with Hansie at 6H30, I asked Clifford Green to be there, Goolam Rajah, Bron Wilkinson, Nicky Bojé and Herschelle Gibbs. In essence three issues emerged from Hansie. He said (1) that he had never been involved in a match where he had thrown a match, secondly that his banking accounts are open and available for anybody to scrutinise and thirdly that he had never, ever approached any of the players.
MR GAUNTLETT: Could you just clarify one aspect, you referred in the plural to his banking accounts, in your statement you say "anyone could look at his bank account", do you pertinently remember whether he talked in the singular or plural or is it not something that you can now recall?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, I can't recall whether it was in the singular or plural.
MR GAUNTLETT: And now these three points that you talk of he making prior to the press conference, could you just tell the Commission what was your impression, were these points that he sort developed as he went along or did you get the feeling that he had this very clearly and firm in his mind?
DR BACHER: I think initially for the first five minutes, that is at 6H30 in the evening, we tried to support him again and encourage him that you know, we would be behind him. He didn't say much. He then took out a piece of paper and he had obviously worked out what he was going to say at the press conference and those were the three specific issues.
MR GAUNTLETT: Gibbs and Bojé, what did they convey to you?
DR BACHER: They confirmed to me that there had been no approach by Hansie Cronje to them.
MR GAUNTLETT: Then the press conference followed and you say in your statement that Mr Cronje essentially repeated in the conference what he had said to you beforehand he was going to say, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, in that conference, do you recall a particular question being raised by Mr Colin Bryden of the Sunday Times, London Times I think, Sunday Times? The South African Sunday Times, I duly promoted ...
DR BACHER: You obviously, Mr Gauntlett, do not know your cricket?
MR GAUNTLETT: You, Dr Bacher, you would have found that out a long time ago.
COMMISSIONER: He doesn't know his newspapers either, Dr Bacher?
DR BACHER: Yes, I can recall Mr Bryden on my right hand side that in the Sunday Times in the morning, that is the South African Sunday Times, there was detailed exposure to the transcripts and Mr Bryden who is the cricket correspondent for the South African Sunday Times, asked Hansie his response or his reaction to those transcripts and Hansie said that he hadn't seen them.
MR GAUNTLETT: What occurred to you at the time, did something occur to you?
DR BACHER: It is difficult to assess now, there is no question on that Sunday night, Hansie was very, very tense. I thought at the time understandable, it had become a major international cricketing issue.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now, you went on to the Phinda Game Park with the Australians that you were hosting, the senior officials of the Australian Cricket Board, Mr Dennis Rogers, the Chairman and Mr Malcolm Speed the CEO, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: And Phinda is in Kwa-Zulu Natal, to the north of Durban, so you went on by car from there?
DR BACHER: We left our Durban hotel at nine o'clock on the Monday morning.
MR GAUNTLETT: Then on Tuesday, the 11th of April, 2000, you received a telephone call at three o'clock in the morning from the Team Manager, Mr Rajah, would you tell the Commissioner about that?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett, it was three o'clock in the morning, the phone rang, the call woke me up. In trying to get the receiver, I knocked over the phone, it fell to the floor, I picked up the phone and it was Goolam Rajah, the Manager of the South African cricket team who said the following to me "Doc, the captain wants to speak to you". Hansie came to the phone and he said to me "Doc, I haven't been honest with you". I said immediately "Hansie, have you taken money from a bookmaker and he said "yes". I said "please explain". He said to me there is this gentleman called Hamied, he is always hanging around the change room and that on the Friday, that is January, the 21st, it was the first one day international match, the Standard Bank international series between South Africa and Zimbabwe at the Wanderers stadium. Hamied had introduced an Indian bookmaker by the name of Sanjay to him. He then said to me Sanjay said the following "Hansie, if you ever repeat what transpired at Centurion Park, please let me know because both you and I can make a lot of money". Hansie then said to me that he turned down the offer, Sanjay then said to him "well, Hansie, here is some money in case you change your mind". Hansie then told me that he accepted the money.
I said to him "what is the amount" and he said between $10 000 and $15 000. The second point that emerged in that telephone call is that he said to me very firmly that none of the other players are involved.
MR GAUNTLETT: Could we stop there for a moment, on the core and just clarify some further aspects. First of all when he said to you that Hamied was hanging around the change room, which change room was he referring to?
DR BACHER: The Wanderers' stadium change room.
MR GAUNTLETT: Secondly when you asked him about how much money, did he give an indication as to where the money was?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett, he said that it was in Bloemfontein.
MR GAUNTLETT: And thirdly, when he came on the line and he said to you "Doc, I haven't been honest with you", you say that you immediately asked him whether he had taken money from a bookkeeper, why did you ask that? Bookmaker?
DR BACHER: Because you know, I was woken up, that was my first thought. I knew there was trouble, I knew there were problems.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now, you went on to ask Cronje also you say in your statement, whether it is true that Sanjay had spent a night in the hotel, could you tell the Commissioner about that, it is paragraph 66 Mr Commissioner.
DR BACHER: I don't know why that came through my thoughts so early in the morning, but I can recall on Sunday there were newspaper reports coming from India that the Indian Police were checking the movements of Mr Sanjay, during our movements around India and the first one day international was in Koachim, and the report said that the Police had evidence of the fact that he had spent the night in the same hotel as the South African team and I asked Hansie that and he confirmed that he had spent that evening in the same hotel as our players did in Kochin.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, you stressed an aspect which isn't in your statement, it is something that you pointed out to me yesterday was missing, and that is this question of what he made clear to you about the other players. Would you just repeat that and tell the Commissioner what he said about the other players in this conversation?
DR BACHER: I cannot recall exactly how he put it across, I never asked him in fact whether the other players were involved, he volunteered that the other players were not involved.
MR GAUNTLETT: You say in paragraph 67 that it was your impression that he sounded quite composed during the telephone call? Could you convey to the Commissioner his sort of manner in which he spoke to you?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, I was very surprised, there is no question he was very composed, calm while speaking to me.
MR GAUNTLETT: You then say in your statement that he gave the telephone back to the Team Manager, Mr Rajah, and you gave Mr Rajah, Mr Sönn, the Acting President of the Cricket Board's bungalow number, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct, Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Did you then have the happy task of waking Mr Sönn at that hour too?
DR BACHER: No. They were endeavouring to make contact with Adv Percy Sönn who is the Acting President of the United Cricket Board of South Africa to inform him.
MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry, did you phone him? What I am asking is did you phone Mr Sönn?
DR BACHER: No, initially I conveyed to Goolam Rajah that in fact Mr Sönn was with me and the two Australians in this game park, and I gave Goolam Rajah the bungalow number to Mr Rajah. I put the phone down, they immediately phoned Adv Sönn at this game park and the details of that conversation between Hansie Cronje and Percy Sönn, I am not aware of the specifics, but ...
MR GAUNTLETT: No, I am not asking you that at the moment, Dr Bacher, the point is did you yourself then phone Mr Sönn at that early hour of the morning?
DR BACHER: I phoned Adv Sönn at half past three in the morning, we had a discussion of the contents of Hansie Cronje's remarks to us and within I would say two to three minutes, we together and unanimously made the following decision - (1) to withdraw Hansie Cronje immediately from the three one day international matches to play Australia, secondly to ask our government to institute a judicial enquiry into these allegations and thirdly to apologise to the public for having defended Hansie Cronje during the past few days.
COMMISSIONER: May we take the adjournment now, Mr Gauntlett?
COMMISSIONER: Thank you, may we carry on with the proceedings?
MS BATOHI: Thank you Mr Commissioner, before Mr Gauntlett continues we have a brief that there are two aspects that need to be placed on record at this stage, due to some misunderstanding in certain circles. Firstly I wish to clarify and point out that the missing page from Mr Cronje's statement that has been handed in as an exhibit through Mr Rory Steyn, was produced by the team representing Mr Cronje, upon a simple request from myself. That was handed to Mr Gauntlett who then questioned the witness about it, and then it was put in as evidence as well. That is the first aspect.
The second aspect is that I wish to clarify that Mr Cronje has been offered indemnity from prosecution by the National Director of Public Prosecutions, the offer is not unconditional, it is conditional upon finding at the end of the work of the Commission that Mr Cronje has made full disclosure and that he has been honest and truthful in every aspect, with the Commission. Thank you Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you Ms Batohi. I did indicate at an earlier stage of these proceedings that any legitimate step that was taken which would have the effect of enabling me to have a full disclosure of the truth, would carry my support and concurrence. What you have just told me is one such step and certainly as far as I am concerned, as the Commissioner, is far preferable to have the offer of a conditional indemnity, conditional as you have described it, to be made with regard to witnesses who may potentially incriminate themselves, rather to have that than to have a witness declining to answer questions on the basis that the answers to such questions may be self-incriminatory.
I welcome the announcement that you have just made to this Commission.
MS BATOHI: Thank you Mr Commissioner, Mr Gauntlett can now proceed.
ARON BACHER: (s.u.o)
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: (cont)
Thank you Mr Commissioner. Mr Commissioner, your microphone is still live. Thank you. Dr Bacher, you had just reached, dealing with the events surrounding your discussion with Mr Percy Sönn at about half past three in the morning on Tuesday, 11 April and you told the Commissioner that you and he decided that the best thing that could happen in view of the revelations made to you in the call from Mr Cronje, was firstly to withdraw him from the national team to play against Australia, secondly to ask the government to convene a judicial enquiry and thirdly to publicly apologise for defending Cronje. I wonder if you could just explain what your thinking was as to why the United Cricket Board should offer a public apology in the circumstances?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, we had been sadly so, misled. We had defended Hansie to the world, we just believed it appropriate to tell the world in fact that we had not been given the right information and it was necessary to make a public apology in this regard.
With regard to the question of asking our government to institute a judicial enquiry, accepting money from a bookmaker is a very serious issue in world cricket, very serious issue. As we progress with my testimony today, I will with your permission, bring to the attention of this forum, my serious concerns about what is happening in international cricket at this point in time.
MR GAUNTLETT: You carry on in your statement in paragraph 70 saying that -
"... at about 5am Mr Rajah (it should read) telephoned (Mr Commissioner, there is a missing "d", telephoned) me and (the first line of paragraph 70 - he telephoned me) and told me that Cronje insisted on immediately leaving the hotel and being provided with a driver."
We heard about that, how he did and you then I understand immediately phoned Mr Pahad. What did you say to him?
DR BACHER: Well, unfortunately I woke him up, but he accepted that in the right spirit. I indicated to him the contents of Mr Cronje's conversation to me at three o'clock in the morning. I also indicated to him that Mr Rajah had said to me that Hansie was going to leave the hotel immediately, that nobody was going to stop him leaving the hotel, and he wanted to go to Pretoria to see Mr Pahad personally.
Mr Pahad then said to me that in fact, he was leaving early morning for Cape Town and that if Mr Cronje wanted to see him, he should travel to Cape Town, which he duly did.
MR GAUNTLETT: Then you, at six o'clock Mr Rajah faxed to you at Phinda, a copy of the statement which Mr Cronje had handed to him. Did you yourself read it through as you stood there?
DR BACHER: No Mr Gauntlett, both Adv Sönn and myself were in a hurry to get back to Durban, to handle this crisis as best we could. At six o'clock I telephoned my counterpart in Australian Cricket, Mr Malcolm Speed, I said to him "Malcolm, I am sorry, we had a crisis, there is a serious issue involving our national captain." I briefly conveyed to him the contents of Mr Cronje's phone call to me and we immediately then left for Durban. I did not during that morning, read the contents of that fax that was sent to me at six o'clock in the morning.
MR GAUNTLETT: You also then called the Convenor of the National Selectors, Mr Rushdi Majiet, is that right, what did you ask him to do?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett, at half past six in the morning, I phoned Rushdi Majiet, he was still in Cape Town. I informed him that there was a need to find a new national captain. I didn't give him the details why, I said I would communicate the reasons to him in Durban that afternoon. I asked him to consult with his co-selectors, that there would be a press conference at Durban at three o'clock that afternoon and that he should give the new captain's name to Adv Percy Sönn to announce to the country at that press conference.
MR GAUNTLETT: Your statement then details certain other steps you took. You contacted Ms Wilkinson and asked her to tell the media that Cronje had been withdrawn, that you then telephoned all the Executive Committee members as you were driving from Phinda down to Durban, except one who you couldn't get hold of and brought them up to speed. Then comes at 1.15pm the meeting about which we have heard, which you attended with the South African team together with Messrs Sönn, Ms Wilkinson, Mr Rajah, Mr Green, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: That was at the players' team room at their Durban hotel?
DR BACHER: That is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Could you just briefly, because we have heard about this meeting, but it is important that you give your own recollection and how it happened, could you just briefly run through that meeting, how you conducted it?
DR BACHER: There was tension in the room. I think the players knew there was a very serious problem. I spoke first at the request of Adv Percy Sönn, I conveyed to the team, The Management of that team what had transpired at three o'clock in the morning. I indicated to them that this was a very serious issue. I then asked them that it is important for every member of the team to inform us and to inform me as the Managing Director on two issues - (1) have they ever been party to match-fixing and secondly have they ever been approached by anybody to get involved in this practice.
My first question was directed at Herschelle Gibbs. I can recall him in that corner there. I asked him to stand up and in front of his players, to indicate to me where he stood and he said very clearly that he had never been party to match-fixing and that he had never been approached by any player.
I then on the right hand side, the back, I asked Nicky Bojé to do likewise and he responded in the same manner, never been involved in match-fixing, never been approached by any player.
And then I went around the room and asked every member to tell me where they stood. Everyone of them responded negatively. The only additional fact that was forthcoming at that meeting, when it came to Jonty Rhodes, he alluded to a game in 1996, the tour of India, where the team had been offered money to throw a match.
MR GAUNTLETT: And after the meeting, did he elaborate on this, did he take you to one side, could you tell the Commissioner what happened?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett. There was a side room, he said "Doc, I would like to speak to you". He took me aside and he said very briefly that "had it not been for Andrew Hudson that offer may have been taken far more seriously".
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, this event to which Mr Rhodes referred, was this, had you heard about this before, the media or from anybody else?
DR BACHER: This was the first time that I personally was aware that in 1996 in this benefit game in Bombay, that an offer had been made to our national team to throw a particular match.
MR GAUNTLETT: Had you however had a conversation immediately or shortly, not immediately, shortly before the events we are talking about, in which Mr Cronje had said something to you which you considered later, tied in with this, could you explain?
DR BACHER: About a few weeks before these revelations emerged in South Africa, in discussion, but not initiated on this particular issue, for about 5, 10 seconds, out of nowhere, Hansie just said to me "there was a match, an offer, we turned it down immediately".
There was no mention made to me of the year, the country, the amount of money. It was dismissive, it was almost reflex, I don't think it lasted more than five seconds.
MR GAUNTLETT: What was your reaction at that time, to this brief reference to him without any details?
DR BACHER: I thought nothing of it because that would have been the response that I would have anticipated from the national captain, the national team firstly, and secondly at that point in time, to me it would have been unthinkable for our national captain to even remotely considered that type of offer.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, these, this incident, if it is the incident we understand, surfaced in international media, Ms Wilkinson said, I think in late 1998, were you aware of these reports, did you yourself read them?
DR BACHER: I have been shown the report, again it comes from Colin Bryden, it was the latter part of 1998. I cannot recall ever reading that report.
MR GAUNTLETT: Your attention is also being drawn to statements in recent weeks by Mr Bob Woolmer, who was evidently out in this country, much involved in book launches around the country, and certain statements he has made. Did you ever receive any report from Mr Woolmer in 1996, relating to any such offer in his capacity as reporting officially on the tour?
DR BACHER: That tour of India was a tough tour, it took two months. It ended with this unhappy match taking place in Bombay and I think I should tell you about it. The players were decidedly unhappy about participating in this match, it was a benefit much Mohinder Armenath. My counterpart in Indian Cricket at the time, Mr Dalmiya, who is now the President of the ICC. It was a late addition to the itinerary, the players were unhappy and quite rightly so. It is unheard of in my opinion to have a benefit match between two countries regarded as an official one day international match.
It was a Saturday morning, I phoned Mr Dalmiya and I expressed to him very strongly our unhappiness about this match. He implored me to speak to the players, to go through with the match, the match had been advertised, it had been promised to Mr Armenath, there were television sponsorships, and reluctantly I spoke to the team and asked them to proceed with the match. I think that background is important. It was a very unhappy team that proceeded to Bombay for that particular match.
One week after the return of the team to South Africa, it was December the 17th, Mr Bob Woolmer in his capacity as national coach, as he would do normally sent me a very detailed and very comprehensive report of that tour to India. Mr Bob Woolmer is a very meticulous coach, his notes are always very copious, his detailed, and he described in detail to me the tour, the positives and negatives, the carriers they took, the hotels they stayed in, the food, the liaison officers, the practice conditions, the pitch conditions, the umpiring, from A to Z. But in the report, there is no mention whatsoever of this offer to the South African team.
So did Mr Robbie Muzzell who was the manager of the team, he once again presented to my Board a very detailed and comprehensive report on this particular tour. Once again there is no mention made of this offer to throw this particular match.
Let me say to you that when a few weeks ago, it appeared in the newspapers that in fact this offer had been made, it was serious and had been seriously taken by some of our senior players, I phoned Robbie Muzzell, he is an Executive Committee member of the United Cricket Board and I said to him "Robbie, what is happening, what happened there" and his explanation to me was as follows that when you tour India, at the end of the day's play, the players generally congregate in a big tea room and one evening there was lose talk about this match and Robbie said he said to the chaps "chaps, don't think about it, don't talk about it, don't laugh about it, in these confines and in the corridors".
MR GAUNTLETT: Now, Dr Bacher, one thing that you haven't actually described to the Commissioner is something to which you turn at the top of page 17 of your statement, that was, these events had unfolded fast from that early morning call. What was your state of mind, how did you react to what had happened from three o'clock on that day, what were you thinking?
DR BACHER: Devastated. It devastated this country, and I don't think this country has recovered.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you. Dr Bacher, now we will come later to a question of the international setting on which you started touching in paragraph 84 and I think perhaps it is best left for a little later, if we can finish trudging through the chronology of events. You held the press conference at 3pm that afternoon and of course the Commission has the video tape again of that conference. On Thursday, April 13, you and Mr Sönn met with Min Balfour, the Minister of Sport, in Cape Town at 2pm, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: And you held a joint press conference immediately thereafter at which the Minister announced that as I understand it, he was supporting your request and he were to take steps to initiate a judicial commission of enquiry, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Then we have the media statement released by the Ministry of Sport, which is Annexure 11, AB11, to report - and I don't think you need to read it, it sets out the decision which was taken.
Dr Bacher, could we turn to Friday, April 14. This is now a week since the press reports started to come through from Delhi. That was the day of the second one day international between South Africa and Australia at Newlands, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: And you attended that game?
DR BACHER: Correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Then on Wednesday, April the 19th, you had a call from Mr Rajah, is that right?
DR BACHER: Correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: And what did he tell you?
DR BACHER: He said to me that he had received an anonymous phone call that morning that the information provided to him is in fact that the three players Herschelle Gibbs, Pieter Strydom and Nicky Bojé, had in fact been approached by Hansie Cronje.
I immediately phoned Clifford Green, our lawyer, who also indicated to me that Goolam had been in contact with him with regard to this information. I asked the two of them and Goolam Rajah to come to my house that afternoon, Wednesday afternoon. We discussed our strategy. I then phoned Pieter Strydom and said to him "Pieter, I have been informed by Goolam Rajah, that in fact you were approached by Hansie", he said "yes, that is true now". I said "I think it is important and imperative that you come to me tomorrow morning", which is the Thursday morning, the day before Good Friday.
I phoned Herschelle and he said to me "yes, he had been approached by Hansie" and I said to him that I think it is important that he should come to my house the following morning. I phoned Nicky Bojé, he once again conveyed to me that he had never, ever been approached by Hansie Cronje. I said to him "Nicky, the other two are coming to my house tomorrow, think about it, and if in half an hour's time, you have changed your mind, please phone and come to see me tomorrow morning." He never phoned me and he never came to my house on Thursday morning.
MR GAUNTLETT: Then the meeting went ahead on Thursday at your house with Strydom and Gibbs there and Mr Richard Harrison, the UCB Executive Member and Ms Wilkinson and again Mr Green, is that right?
DR BACHER: That is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Paragraph 92 of your statement you summarise the transcript and I think everybody who has given evidence, has indicated I think that Ms Wilkinson though she wasn't purporting to have a transcript or minutes, she captured the meeting.
In paragraph 92 you put it together shortly, yourself. Would you just go through the items in paragraph 92.1 and on as to what transpired as you recall?
DR BACHER: I think in regard to Pieter Strydom firstly, he told us that before the first test match in Mumbai, two days before Hansie had asked him to come to his hotel room, the meeting lasted between five to ten minutes. Initially it was in a joking manner an offer had been made for the South African tem not to get more than 250 runs and that if the team complied, Pieter would receive R70 000-00.
Pieter and he was honest to us on this occasion, he said to Hansie "look, I am early on in my career, I have only played a couple of test matches. Possibly in a few years time, if I have played 70 test matches, who know how I will respond to this, but I really cannot give it serious consideration because of my early appearance in the national team". As I said it lasted between five to ten minutes.
The following morning Pieter said to me, said to all of us at my house that Hansie had come to him and said that the offer was now R140 000. I in fact was at that test match and it was a magnificent win for South Africa on a very difficult and turning pitch and young Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis did this country proud under extreme pressure to win the game for South Africa.
At the end of the game, Pieter said he went to Hansie in a joke and said "well, I could have made a lot of money" and he said Hansie didn't respond to it. When Pieter got back to South Africa, he said to me there were a few phone calls with Hansie, he wanted to know from Hansie what was happening and then the last call to Hansie he said the following, that is Hansie saying to him "tell them about the approach, but don't tell them about the money side".
With regard to Herschelle on the Thursday morning, he said to us that it was the morning of the fifth one day international in India, that Hansie had come into their bedroom. Henry Williams was there, I think he said he was packing his suitcase or he was having a shower. The conversation lasted 30 seconds, it was joke-joke, "I've had an offer, ha-ha, no, we won't be party to it", and that was his response to our question on that Thursday morning whether in fact Hansie had made a serious approach to him.
MR GAUNTLETT: And what was said in relation to an approach to Mr Boucher and Mr Kallis?
DR BACHER: I phoned Mark Boucher because Goolam was now saying to us there was a lot communication between the players now and it appeared that in fact Hansie had also made an approach to Mark Boucher, Lance Klusener and Jacques Kallis. I phoned Mark Boucher, he said to me it was before the second test match, Hansie had come into their bedroom, conversation lasted 30 seconds, it started off jokingly, "I've been made an offer" and the three of them said "don't be stupid", didn't think anything of it and that was the end of the conversation.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, if we can turn now to an aspect which I indicated earlier, this aspect of international setting. It is summarised very shortly on page 20, paragraphs 94 and 95, but there are three very important annexures to your statement, which I am going to ask you to take the Commission through and to stop as you go to explain certain things.
You say in paragraph 94 -
"... during the Easter weekend this year I prepared a report on the information I had been given in relation to the international aspect of the match-fixing allegations. I intended to hand this report to the Chairman of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, Lord Hugh Griffiths, but it was decided by the UCB that I should rather present this report to the South African enquiry."
You have now got a copy of that report and you are prepared to go through that with the Commissioner. You have also enclosed a report which you received from Jack Bannister and you attach also a letter containing certain information which you have received. Could we start with Annexure 13, which is the draft report which you prepared for the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, which the Board thought you should actually in the first instance present before this Commission.
DR BACHER: Mr Commissioner, can I read through this report and there are certain additions, it is a very important report I believe for international cricket.
COMMISSIONER: Yes, proceed Dr Bacher.
DR BACHER: It is dated the 25th of April 2000, initially I compiled it during the Easter weekend.
DR BACHER READS A REPORT COMPILED INITIALLY FOR THE CODE OF CONDUCT COMMITTEE INTO THE RECORD
MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry, just to clarify, so you conveyed that two matches had been fixed, at that time you didn't feel that you could specify which two, is that right?
DR BACHER: Correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: I am sorry, continue.
DR BACHER CONTINUES TO READ THE REPORT INTO THE RECORD
DR BACHER: Mr Commissioner, I'd like to just in ...(indistinct) to me, 11th of May:
In the interests of world cricket, I have no objection if your statement, including my discussions with you about malpractice and corruption in Pakistan cricket is made public. In my capacity as Chief Executive Officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board, I requested the President of Pakistan, in January of '98, to institute a Judicial Commission to investigate these malpractices."
MR GAUNTLETT: I think, Dr Bacher, that is the inquiry which was completed in recent weeks. A very lengthy inquiry, extending for nearly two years, I think it was, or over two years. And the Judge has handed down his report. I think it is with the Commission. Thank you. If you'd carry on.
DR BACHER: Mr Commissioner, the next sequences of events relates to an acquaintance I have, whom I've met five or six occasions during the past five to six years. He's an Indian bookmaker, and can I refer to him as Mr R, because I do fear for his safety?
DR BACHER: Thank you, Sir. During the '95/'96 season England toured South Africa. On the flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth for the Boxing Day test match, that was the fourth test match, and it's historic because that was the game that Paul Adams made his appearance in the South African National team. I sat next to a cricket supporter from India. He knew his cricket inside-out, and informed me he was a bookmaker.
A long-standing friend of mine is Jack Bannister, and I would say probably, in the international cricket scene, he would probably be the best friend I've ever had over many decades. He's an ex-Warwickshire County player, a former BBC commentator, and a former bookmaker. Jack Bannister met up with the Indian bookmaker during the fourth test in Port Elizabeth. He had asked him to review the contents of a book that Jack was about to publish in 1996, entitled "Tampering with Cricket".
I can recall asking Jack Bannister whether he believed that the Indian bookmaker was above-board, and he replied in the affirmative. He did not believe he was involved in inducing players to fix or manipulate matches.
During the next two cricket season, '96/'97 and '97/'98, I met him on approximately three occasions. Twice in Sydney - twice in South Africa and once in Sydney. That was the test match January 2 - January 6 1998, where we were outplayed by the Australian team.
COMMISSIONER: When you say "him", Dr Bacher, is this the bookmaker you're talking about? Or Jack Bannister?
DR BACHER: No, the bookmaker. Thank you, the bookmaker. I suppose, Sir, you could ask me why did I have this contact with this bookmaker?
Firstly, he knew his cricket very well he knew facts and figures and the history of the game.
Secondly, I was guided by Jack Bannister's assessment of him, a nobody in international cricket, I can vouch, would ever question Jack Bannister's integrity. He's assurance to me that he had never, ever spoken to any player. And I just wanted to keep the door open, because what was surfacing in world cricket now were allegations of match fixing, corruption in the game of cricket.
During these infrequent - I wouldn't say 'meetings', they were generally over dinner, he told me in no uncertain terms that match fixing, match manipulation takes place on the sub-continent. The modus operandi, and it was the same story every time to me, that it generally involved one-day international matches, it generally involved matches played outside of the home country, that with some of the countries they were playing between 40 to 50 one-day international matches per calendar year, that in generally involved three or four players, and that instead of winning 28 out of 48 one-day matches per annum, they'd only win 24 and it wouldn't be the end of the world.
MR GAUNTLETT: And Dr Bacher, while you're on that, could you just tell the Commissioner what you also, either then or later through your experience, learnt about remuneration of players comparatively as between South Africa and I think one or two of the countries you're trying hard not to mention?
DR BACHER: I don't want to mention the countries, but he indicated to me that a starting point for enticement was the very fact that some of these players don't have contracts, that they only get match fees and that their payment in relation to their status in their society was not properly rewarded.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you. I think you were at the point of describing how you travelled to Leeds for the fifth test match.
DR BACHER: I travelled to Leeds for the fifth test match, this is 1998, England versus South Africa. It was a decisive match, the series was one all. It was in August of 1998. It was a test match that was won by England, but history will also record that many dubious decisions were made by umpire Javad Akhtar.
Mr Commissioner, if I can tell you that, during that test match, there were 10 lbw decisions given, 9 was given by Mr Akhtar, 8 was given against the South African team and 7, according to knowledgeable critics of the game, consider them to be dubious.
After returning to South Africa, I phoned the Indian bookmaker in Bombay, and enquired of him whether the umpire concerned could have been bought. He's answer was, "possibly", but he did not have any evidence to substantiate this.
In February of 2000, of this year, I departed for Mumbai for the first test match between South African and India. I arrived there on the Thursday morning, on the Friday morning he phoned me at my hotel, I was staying with the team. He asked me do I have an evening free, I said, "Sunday night". We won the game on Sunday afternoon. It was a wonderful win by our South African team.
He came to my hotel, we walked about four blocks and we went to a restaurant. During the course of the dinner, I asked him again whether match fixing, match manipulation was still taking place in the sub-continent. He replied, once again, in the affirmative. He specified some Pakistan players, some Indian players. I said, 'Sri Lankans?', he said, 'No'. I said, 'South Africans?', he said, 'No'. South Africans he said, 'No'.
I think it's important to record then, in these few discussions with him, the only player who comes through repeatedly, and that is Salim Malik. That, in the second-half of the '90's he said to me Salim Malik has made $11/2-m from this practise. At that meeting in Mumbai, that figure was now up to $2-million.
Then, during the latter part of the dinner, he startled me with the following:
"Ali you remember you phoned me after the Leeds test about the possible manipulation of an Umpire during that test match?"
I said, "Yes."
He then said to me:
"The Umpire concerned was on the payroll."
And he added that he had acquired this information subsequent to my telephone call, and that he had been subsequently informed that one of the biggest bookmakers in Karachi had left Karachi for Leeds a couple of day before that test match began to ensure that his client complied. Startled, I decided on my return to Johannesburg from Mumbai, that I would request a meeting with Lord Griffiths in June of this year, during the annual conference, to inform him what had been relayed to me on February the 27th.
This Indian bookmaker, "Mr R", also resides in London, I'm not certain how many months he's in Mumbai, how many months he's in London, but went to London for this ICC Crisis Meeting on May the 2nd, and my Executive Committee asked Rory Steyn, our Security Consultant, to come with me there was concerns about my possible safety, that in London we endeavoured to make contact with him, with his cellphone number in Bombay, London. There was no response. Rory Steyn too, by virtue of his previous association with Scotland Yard, having looked after former ex-President, Nelson Mandela in England, made contact with his former colleagues in Scotland Yard. They endeavoured to trace him, but unsuccessfully.
I met Javed Burki for the first time during the 1994 South African tour of Pakistan. He is a former Pakistan test player, and was at that time the President of the Pakistan Cricket Board. He is also currently in no official position with the Pakistan Cricket Board.
In the early part of 1999, that would have been January /99, he visited South Africa as the Match Referee for the South Africa versus West Indies one-day international matches. During an evening at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg, he told me at dinner in the presence of Tony Cozier, the West Indies journalist, Brian Basson, the United Cricket Board of South Africa Director of Playing Affairs and Umpiring, and Mr Ranjan Madugalle, ICC Match Referee for the South African versus West Indies test matches, that match fixing involving the Pakistan team had happened in some instances, and some players were involved in this practise. I phoned him in Pakistan on the evening of April the 22nd 2000, once again this was over the Easter weekend. He reaffirmed to me that the above was a true reflection of what he had said to me at the Sandton Sun Hotel, and that he was happy for me to incorporate this in my letter to Lord Hugh-Griffiths during the course of the week April 24th to April 28th 2000. He also said to me that during this telephone call, that during his term of President of the Pakistan Cricket Board, the Patron of the Board, that is the President of the country, had asked him to look into allegations of corruption within Pakistan cricket.
During his one year term he found one cricketer to be culpable. He took appropriate action. The cricketer was subsequently banned in February of 1995, but the new Board re-instated him.
On the 13th of May of this year, I received via e-mail from Majid Khan the following:
"Javed says he has no problem with you submitting his discussion with you to the judicial inquiry, and if necessary, for them to be made public."
My conclusion in this report, which has been submitted to you, Sir, is that a process has started, beginning with the Cronje revelations, to purge the game of cricket once and for all of this cancer, irrespective of which international players are involved and which countries they come from.
I am not pointing a finger at any one Board, as it has emerged that this practise has been taking place in South Africa. I believe this tough time is an opportunity for all cricketing countries to unite and stand firm to rid cricket of a practice that has serious consequences for our sport. If we do not do all that is humanly possible to rid cricket of match-fixing and match manipulation, we face several fatal consequences. The loss of spectators, the loss of cricket broadcasters and the loss of spectators, who no longer can be assured that match results are a true reflection of the players full efforts.
COMMISSIONER: Just right at the end now, you've mentioned 'spectators' twice. I think you also wanted to refer to the possible loss of sponsors, in addition to spectators.
DR BACHER: Yes, very much so. And I would like to convey to you, Sir, that within the South African scene we have some wonderful sponsors who've been loyal to South African cricket over a long period of time. I believe that they will stand and support South African cricket, conditional on that we are effective and do everything as possible, as soon as possible, to eradicate this practise from South African cricket.
MR GAUNTLETT: On that Dr Bacher, you were choosing your words very carefully when you answered that question of the Commissioner, and I want to ask you no more than need be asked in this regard. Have significant sponsors expressed to you acute anxiety in relation to these events, and indicated to you that - well, they look to the Board and they look to the Commission to address the situation?
DR BACHER: Last Friday I received a phone call from one of our very important and very loyal and committed sponsors. There's no question there are concerns, and it will be up to the Board and the Commission, hopefully, just to allay their fears about the future.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, you prepared a report with some very serious statements in it for Lord Hugh-Griffiths and for the ICC, and you've explained how you thought it important that, because the facts with which the Commission is concerned straddle continents and you're not dealing with a domestic disease, that you should talk about these matters. Have you been in contact with your international counterparts about giving this information? Could you just tell the Commissioner, briefly, what is their attitude?
DR BACHER: Yesterday I put aside, Sir, to - I wouldn't say to consult, but just put in the picture, what was going to be in my statement today.
I first phoned David Richards the Chief Executive of the ICC. I then phoned two very important players in world cricket. One is Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya, who is the President of the ICC, he's based in Calcutta. I know him for more than a decade. He in fact was the driving force in 1991 to get South Africa back into international cricket. So we have a long, long association. He's under seige at the moment, which is sad. There are question marks about his integrity, and I made it very clear to him yesterday on the phone that he has my support, I would not question his integrity. But fundamentally and essentially, he said to me he was very, very happy with the processes taking place in South Africa, it must be open, it must all come out and we must unite together to be effective in eradicating once and for all this practise from world cricket.
I also phone yesterday Mr SM Marnie(?) who is a Pakistan accountant, he's based in London. He is the Chairman of ICC Finance and Marketing, he's a very important player in world cricket, and he too was supportive of this process, and very supportive that what must come out must come out once and for all in the best interests of the game of cricket.
I had endeavoured the last 24 hours to make contact with Mr Chowdhury who is the President of the Bangladesh Cricket Board. He's a good friend of mine, to indicate to him that I was going to inform this inquiry what Majid Khan had said to me about the Pakistan Bangladesh match during the World Cup. I was unable to contact him. Also my counterpart in Pakistan cricket is a Mr Saeed, and I've endeavoured on seven occasions to make contact with him, to bring to attention the information which I felt was to bring to your attention in the overall interests of world cricket.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, could we then turn to the second document, and I note your voice is taking strain so, Mr Commissioner, I wonder if it would help if I just read through this, and give you a moments break, Dr Bacher, 'cause there's a third document to follow. If you would interrupt me if there's anything you wish to comment on and clarify in Jack Bannister's communication to you.
It is headed to Dr Ali Bacher from Jack Bannister, and it reads:
"The following facts may be relevant background to the current events in world cricket concerning betting and alleged bribery and corruption.
1) I met a Bombay bookmaker in South Africa during the '95/'96 tour of the Republic by England. I was just completing a manuscript commissioned by Harper-Collins entitled 'Tampering with Cricket'. The first half incorporated material from test Umpire Don Oslear, and dealt with the alleged ball-tampering charged levelled at Pakistan in the Lord's one-day international in August '92.
The second half was the tracing of alleged betting and bribery around the world since 29 January 1980 in Calcutta. Mihir Bhose of the Daily Telegraph has since printed an accusation that Azif ensured that India batted and then declared behind. It was alleged that the bet was for India to bat first and take first innings lead. His story has never been legally challenged. It was Iqbal's final test.
2) I included the story in my manuscript, which I showed to the Bombay bookmaker, both to establish accuracy and also to allay considerable fears from the legal advisors of Harper-Collins about possible challenges in court.
After lengthy talks with the bookmaker, I was convinced of his knowledge and integrity and was able to convince the publishers of the accuracy of my text.
The Indian confirmed every story that I had obtained independently, including:
1) Sharjah, 1991. Page 117, when Pakistan Captain Imran Khan learned that four of his team had bet on India in the final. He told them he was placing their match fee of $20 000 on themselves, and they won the game under controversial circumstances. Imran Khan did not deny the story to me in a private conversation in the BBC commentary box in the 1999 World Cup in England.
2) Pages 134 - 141, dealing with the two final matches in Cape Town and Johannesburg of the Mandela Trophy. I commented on both games for SABC, and was perplexed by Pakistan's inept performances.
Before the start of the aware ceremony at Wanderers on the middle, I stood next to Azmir Sohail and said, 'Bad luck.' He replied, 'Bad luck has nothing to do with things in the team.' When I returned to England I was contacted by Dominic Chapman of the Racing Post, page 140, to tell me he had a betting dossier on both games, and the following two Pakistan tests in Johannesburg and Zimbabwe. Lawyers were anxious not to publish, but the conversation confirmed my thoughts on the Mandela games and the Wanderers test.
The Indian bookmaker confirmed by text and revealed why a betting row broke out in India and bets were called off. Page 140. My manuscript was thus vetted during the third test against England in Port Elizabeth my a man whose knowledge and integrity I trusted so much that we had several minor business dealings in England during the next three years."
May I just pause? Dr Bacher is this a reference to 'R'?
DR BACHER: That's Mr R. Mr Gauntlett, can I just indicate to you the letter to me is dated the 23rd of April 2000.
MR GAUNTLETT: We haven't finished yet, but thank you for that. Page two:
"He made one other observation. By January '96 Salim Malik had received US$2-m for betting and bribery favours payed in Johannesburg by an expatriate bookkeeper then living in Johannesburg."
MR GAUNTLETT: Bookmaker, there I go again.
COMMISSIONER: Call him a turf accountant if it's easier for you, Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
"As recorded by Simon Wilde, Sunday Times Sport 23rd April 2000, Mohammed Hanif Kodvavi was killed by 67 bullets in Johannesburg on May the 14th 1999. He came from Karachi, but moved to Johannesburg several years before his death. He was a bookmaker, a Rashid Latif and Basit Allie subsequently testified to Justice Malik Qayyum that they'd walked into Salim Malik's hotel room in 1995 and found him in conversation with the now dead Kodvavi.
'Tampering with Cricket', was published in June '96 and serialised in the Mail on Sunday. There has never been a whisper of a proposed writ for libel or defamation, mainly because of the impeccable reputation from integrity of Umpire Oslear, who had kept a written account of the Lord's one-dayer, and also the accuracy of my text on betting and bribery.
That accuracy was confirmed by the Indian bookmaker, who I have no hesitation in believing to be of the same knowledge of his subject, and integrity, as Oslear. The book was published only when Harper-Collins was satisfied by me that there would be no legal challenge."
"Memo to Dr Bacher: I believe I gave you a copy of the book in a London restaurant (Chinese ?) when we dined with your two South African friends then living in London."
Dr Bacher, if we could then turn to the third and last annexure, which is a letter that you received. Could you describe to the Commission how you came to get this letter and who it's from?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett. South Africa's cricket is very fortunate that we have a tremendous sponsor and supporter in MTN, the mobile cellphone company. They in fact, financially, are our biggest sponsor, and we have a very important contract with them until March of 2005.
One of their senior executives is a gentleman called Mr Jacques Sellschop, and he is highly regarded in the business community within South Africa. He phoned me after the Easter weekend, and the call, Sir, went something like the following:
"Ali you cannot believe what happened."
He then started to tell me a story of a flight that he had from Johannesburg to Durban, 5 o'clock in the evening on April the 18th, that's Tuesday. I will read it through to you, but what I said to him, I said, "Jacques, if you are so certain that was conveyed to you, please record it in writing to me."
He has conveyed this in writing to me in a letter dated the 26th of April and, Sir, with your permission if I can read the letter to me.
On Tuesday the 18th of April, I boarded the delayed 5-pm South African flight number SA-523 from Johannesburg to Durban. Sitting next to me in the last row of Business Class, Seat 4A, was an attractive young man of dark complexion, with a slightly foreign accent.
He had fairly long straight black hair, which hung down over his forehead, curling in from side to side. He subsequently claimed to be 23 years old. He was wearing dark trousers, and an open neck white short-sleeved shirt. What drew my attention was the fact that he asked for a copy of The Star, and immediately perused what appeared to be cricket results on the inside back page.
We struck up a conversation, in the course of which the following emerged. He was a member, that is the opening bowler, of the Pakistan National Cricket side.
Secondly, he held the record for the fastest ball, 155.8-k's per hour, ahead of Brett Lee of Australia, who was bowling about 154.
He had flown into Johannesburg on Tuesday, and was connecting to Durban to consult a physiotherapist about a problem with his bowling arm. He claimed to experience pain running from the bicep, which was quite large, down to the wrist, which seemed quite slight, but veined as is common in regularly exercised limb. His hands were surprisingly small, and the fingers delicate.
He said the Pakistan Cricket Board had sent him for this treatment, for this consultation, and that he would be returning on Thursday to join the team in the West Indies.
He said he was a practising Muslim, and declined the snack offered by the air hostess, who gave him a serving of fresh fruit. He ate the grapes and the melon. He drank mineral water. He confessed the fear of becoming fat, and claimed to eat no carbohydrates at night. He said he had a very long run-up when bowling, and therefore had to watch his weight and keep fit.
Inevitably, because of the prominence The Star gave to the Hansie issue, our conversation turned to cricket players receiving money for various functions that might be perceived to be unethical. He said match-fixing was a common practice world- wide, and he been going on for many years. He cited so many fixtures, with such minute detail, that I could not commit them to memory, but recall particularly his reference to a match which Pakistan lost to Bangladesh last year. This was allegedly pre-arranged for a fee of US$1-m.
According to the young man, Hansie was so stupid to deal directly. Anybody with experience would know to work through a third party, and never on the phone. In Pakistan's case, the Captain did the negotiation and the fee was generally US$1-m. This was the same fee commanded by the South African team, since they are amongst the worlds most highly regarded.
It is a simple matter to fix the outcome of a match if you can bring four or five players into the deal with you. It is apparently well-known that that guy with the red hair, who's now the South African Captain, and that fellow Rhodes, because of his religion, are impossible to involve.
The Pakistan Cricket Board know it is going on, but they don't do anything about it because the majority are ex-international players who did it themselves.
Three matches in the World Cup in England last year were fixed. He had played as a member of the national side in South Africa a couple of years ago, and the outcome of at least one match was pre-arranged. Professional cricketers, especially fast bowlers, have a limited time span for generating income, and therefore have to supplement with negotiations affecting the outcome of matches. They earn more from these extraneous activities then they do from salaries as professionals.
Money is stashed in bank accounts, notably in England, the Channel Islands, and the Cayman Islands. He ventured the presumption that more than one South African cricketer would have money stashed in England.
The Australians are very active in the business of generating income from engineering the outcome of matches. Australian cricketing authorities are well aware of what's going on, but deal with it more sensibly. The enjoyment of the spectators is not compromised, because they do not know what outcome has been arranged, and therefore the suspense element is not diluted.
The young man said he expected to be met at Durban airport by a member of the South African Cricket Board. He was indeed met by a black man, wearing a tie and a sports jacket, as he entered the arrival area."
MR GAUNTLETT: Could you just stop there, Dr Bacher? What you've read is in fact numbered as points 1 - 15 of, as I gather, what Mr Sellschop was saying this man was alleging to him to be the position. Now, just so we understand it, Mr Sellschop is starting now to give a narrative of his own. Is that correct? At this point: "I have no reason ..." You see where we are on the letter?
DR BACHER: Yes, he's narrated in writing to me, in point form from 1 - 15, exactly what was conveyed to him by this young cricketer on that flight from Johannesburg to Durban.
MR GAUNTLETT: Right. Now it's Mr Sellschop himself speaking, if you could take it up from there.
DR BACHER: Thank you.
"I have no reason at this stage to believe that the young man who sat next to me was an
imposter, nor do I have any reason to suspect that he was fabricating his claims. The references were spontaneous, confident, detailed and precise, as one would expect of a person genuinely involved in the position and experience he claimed for himself.
Thank you for sending me, by e-mail, some pictures of Mr Akthar."
He asked for these pictures. I had asked Bronwyn Wilkinson to send him via e-mail pictures of this fast bowler, Mr Akthar, and I'm almost certain that Bronwyn sent him three of them.
"The one in which he's wearing a peak cap backwards, certainly looks very much like the young man on the plane. However, the most distinguishing feature of centre-parted hair, hanging over the forehead and curling in from either side over the eyebrows is not a distinguishing feature of this picture.
Nevertheless, unless the world's fastest bowler has a genetic double, I'm certain it was he."
Mr Commissioner, about a week ago, 10 days ago, there was a photograph, a colour photograph, on the back page of The Citizen of Mr Akthar, the fast bowler, and Jacques Sellschop phoned me that day. He had a look at that photograph, and he said to me again, 'Ali, unless he has a genetic double, that is Mr Akthar.
"Investigations with South African Airways suggest that seat 4A on South African Airway 523 on Tuesday the 18th of April was booked in the name of Mr A.R. Mayet. Information from the Immigration Authorities at Johannesburg International Airport suggest that no Mr Akthar entered the country on any day in the three months prior to the 18th of April.
Strangely, neither did a Mr Mayet. Would it not be easier to find out through the international cricket administrators where the real Mr Akthar found himself on April the 18th? Is it a mere coincidence that he did not play in a test match in the West Indies?"
And that test match was the first test match between the 13th and the 17th of April,
"Because of alleged injury, but did participate in a match in the West Indies on the 23rd of April? This fits in with the young man's telling me that he was flying out to South Africa on Wednesday the 19th or Thursday the 20th to rejoin his team in the West Indies.
I must say that my curiosity is heightened by the fact that your office is unaware of the visitors alleged presence in our country, and that a member of the administrative function of a national cricket body met him at Durban airport. Would you let me know what voracity risk and the strange tell?
Warm regards, Yours sincerely,
Group Executive, Corporate Relations, MTN."
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, do you know anything further about who might have met this gentleman? Was that followed through at all?
DR BACHER: We have checked out with Mr Cassim Dockrat, the Chief Executive of Natal Cricket, Mr Robbie Kurz, who is the President of Natal Cricket, and they are unaware who would have met this gentleman at the airport on this particular occasion.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, just so that we don't annoy more members of the Akthar family than is strictly necessary, is this Mr Soiab Akthar?
DR BACHER: This is Mr Soiab Akthar.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now, Dr Bacher, some last aspects to pull together. One thing I should have asked you considerably earlier, other than engaging perhaps legal counsel, have you ever been involved in gambling?
DR BACHER: Never. I've never placed a bet in my life. I wouldn't even know how to proceed with it.
COMMISSIONER: Engaging legal counsel must have discouraged you from further participation.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner, we'll be hearing many defamatory remarks today. We won't respond to those.
Dr Bacher, would you tell the Commission as to when you first, looking back, would think that there were indications emerging of some kind of contamination in international cricket and starting to wash into South Africa?
DR BACHER: With pleasure, Sir. If I reflect back, and one must reflect back because it's been an extraordinary period for South African cricket the last 10 years. Playing in the sub-continent for the very first time, playing in the West Indies. It's been a learning experience, a new experience for all of us.
But when I reflect back, and let me say to you that because of the uniqueness of our situation, our return to international cricket,playing black countries for the very first time, I probably have been fortunate and privileged to have travelled more around the world of cricket than any other administrator in the past 10 years. And it's been an extraordinary experience, but also a learning experience.
But when I reflect back, I would say that the first time that I became suspicious of this possible malpractice in World Cup would be the '94/'95 season. We had a quadrangular one-day international tournament here. We got permission, support from our most distinguished President Mandela at the time to allow his name to be associated with this tournament. We invited New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to come to South Africa and participate in this quadrangular tournament, to pay tribute to President Mandela.
We now have the final, and it was a two-legged final between South Africa and Pakistan. The first leg was in January of 1995, in Cape Town at our very historic Newlands Cricket Ground. Prior to this match, a week before, I'd received correspondence from the United Arab Emirates Cricket Board, and they are an associated member of the International Cricket Counsel, requesting that the United Cricket Board provide VIP treatment to two of their cricket administrators. The Cricket Board and South Africans are warm, hospitable people, we like to entertain people from
abroad, and I responded only with pleasure.
The match took place and the two alleged administrators came to the ground, and I would normally place the VIP's at the various tables with the President and the Vice President, and I invited both these administrators to be my guests at my particular table at the dinner break.
After dinner, Quamer Ahmed, now Quamer Ahmed is a Pakistani living in London who has covered more than 250 test matches. Well-known in world cricket, a great friend of South African cricket, and great personal friend of mine. He called me aside, because I'd also invited him to one of the tables for dinner. And he said to me, 'Ali, what's going on here?' And I said, 'Well, I've got this letter from the United Arab Emirates Cricket Board.' He said to me, 'Ali, nonsense. They're bookmakers, man.'
The second point that happened during that particular match is that Salim Malik won the toss, their Captain, and decided to allow South Africa to bat first. Now everybody in international cricket and South African cricket knows for whatever reason, that when you have a day-night match at Cape Town, if you win the toss, you bat first because in the evening the ball swings and seams. So that was a second - call it, signal that just kind of alerted me, just something's not right here.
We make the point and I made it before, at that point in time, you know, it was a new experience for us in international cricket in the sub-continent. And you know there are bookmakers, and I thought nothing of it at that point in time that evening, because there are good bookmakers, and I'm sure there are dishonest bookmakers. And as I said to you so many times, Jack Bannister's a good book - he's an honest man, I've always trusted him.
The second leg of the match went to the Wanderers Stadium. He won the toss again ...(intervention)
MR GAUNTLETT: That's Malik?
DR BACHER: That's Salim Malik. He won the toss again, and again he did the same as in Cape Town. He asked South Africa to bat first. Now at the Wanderers Stadium there could be cricketing reasons to bat second. But the important fact is, as told to me by Doug Russell, the Liaison Officer, a South African with the Pakistan team, that the Pakistan team were angry, were furious with him and required the considerable efforts and persuasion of Indikap(?) Allem, their coach, to get them onto the field.
The third signal, or alert signal. We had agreed with the Pakistan Cricket Board to have a one-off test match against Pakistan at the Wanderers Stadium at January of 1995. That was after the completion of the Mandela Cup Final. We batted first, were 30 for 3, and I can recall like yesterday saying to one of my colleagues in the Long Room. 'We'll get 350 plus.' And he said to me, 'Why?' I said, 'Look, I've played test cricket, I've captained international teams. Something's not right out there.' Their adrenaline wasn't flowing. It just appeared to me that the Pakistan team were just going through the motions. The players weren't round the back, there just wasn't urgency out there, and I think anybody who has played international cricket can sense that.
And the fourth call it signal, alert signal, is that the Pakistan team from there went to Zimbabwe. Rashid Latif, the Vice Captain, and Basit Allie didn't complete that tour, they didn't go to Zimbabwe. And for the very first time it started to emerge, through the media, that during that particular tour there was a possibility, the likelihood that three or four matches were thrown by the Pakistan team during that tour.
COMMISSIONER: While Counsel is deliberating. Dr Bacher, who if any of the current players today would have been concerned, South African players, at that time, this '94/'95, the Mandela Trophy?
DR BACHER: Jonty Rhodes.
COMMISSIONER: Hansie, presumably.
DR BACHER: Hansie. Gary Kirsten, Allan Donald. Mark I think was still in school. Correct, Mark?
COMMISSIONER: Probably junior school.
DR BACHER: Junior school. (general laughter) Lance, I don't think you were there, Lance. You were farming.
COMMISSIONER: Yes, I don't expect you to run it off the top of your head, but there were certainly those four. Can't think of any (microphone is not on) Symcox presumably, or not?
DR BACHER: Symcox would have been in the squad. I've got the annuals here. I'll give you the names at the break, Sir.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner, sorry for the delay. Dr Bacher, in this regard, two things quickly. One is that you've already told Mr Commissioner how you, after you'd had the conversation on the way to and from Lahore late '97, you raised, without referring specifically to two matches, you raised - I think it was in June '99 was it, at ICC level what was concerning you about developments in the game. Could you tell the Commissioner at to whether you have raised it again, and when and how?
DR BACHER: In 1997, that would be the June ICC Full Members Meeting, that was a meeting once a year, generally two days, of the test playing countries.
MR GAUNTLETT: I'm sorry, I said June '99, I meant June '97 you're talking about.
DR BACHER: I'm talking about June 1997. In fact, this was the last meeting chaired by Sir Clyde Walcott. During the course of the debate, the discussion on world cricket, match fixing - allegations of match fixing came up. The conversation lasted between five to ten minutes. I said there and then that I have information that match-fixing is taking place in world cricket. I can recall Sir Clyde Walcott saying, 'There's no smoke without fire.' That five or ten minute discussion was never minuted after that meeting.
MR GAUNTLETT: Another aspect, Dr Bacher. You have decided, having spoken also to international counterparts, that you should - I think let's just leave that aspect if we can for the moment, I'm sorry that it's been brought to your attention. We can look at the names later. That you'd spoken to your international counterparts and discussed with them the fact that you were going to talk about aspects of the international infection.
I know you don't like to talk about it, but have there been incidents when you yourself have been threatened?
DR BACHER: Most definitely.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, third aspect which we could perhaps deal with, is that there have been a couple of media reports, I think there was one by Clive Lloyd - oh. Oh, yes, sorry it was a report in one of the London newspapers relating to somebody Mr Clive Lloyd said that he'd met. There was a question, there'd been recurrent reports here and there about bookmakers in the Presidential box and that kind of thing. Could you just help tidy it up for the Commission?
DR BACHER: Yes, with pleasure. I think it was the Saturday of the Easter weekend in the Times of London, written by Ivor Tennant, there are two or three paragraphs where Clive Lloyd had alleged that I'd introduced Sanjay to Clive Lloyd. Now I've never met Mr Sanjay, I don't know who he is. What did take place, at our invitation, that on two or three occasions, we would invite a Jack Bannister, overseas guests and also 'Mr R' to come and spend a day at the cricket, a good vantage position, enjoy some good company. But certainly I have never, ever met Mr Sanjay.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner, I'm about to move onto some last, little aspects. Might this be a convenient time perhaps to adjourn? I shouldn't think that Dr Bacher would be terribly long. It's a question of tidying up.
COMMISSIONER: We'll reconvene at 2 o'clock.
ON RESUMPTION AT 14H08
ARON BACHER: (s.u.o.)
EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: (cont)
... your evidence today describing your personal background by referring to how long you have known Mr Cronje and his family and what a high regard you had for Mr Cronje, as a Captain, as a cricketer and as a human being. You went on to deal with the unfolding of the events surrounding Mr Cronje's disclosures, and then thirdly, you went on to deal with the international setting and the extent of the infection, as it has come home to you. May I ask you this, I know it's early days and there's still evidence to be led before the Commission, but as you've reflected upon all this, do you have some provisional views as to steps that could be taken to try and address this problem, because at the end of the Commission there obviously will be submissions in this regard and the Commissioner may or may not find it appropriate to make certain recommendations, what are your provisional thoughts as to what is to be done about the problem of corruption in the game?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, I think firstly, and my Board, I'm certain would take the viewpoint that we will await the interim report, the final report from the Commission, to see objectively what the Judge's recommendations are, and I'm sure we'll heed of them, but just from a personal point of view I think the most important thing here is to have consultation with our players, I don't think we should do anything unilateral on our own, but just reflecting upon the past, I'm sure there some immediate specific areas, issues, that we could deal with to endeavour to eliminate this practice from the game.
I think one, firstly the whole question of access to the change rooms. It would appear that, you know, there isn't tight control there of who may or may not go into a player's change room. Secondly, into a hotel room, the players' hotel rooms. Thirdly, the whole question of communication with the players at hotels. I've been told that it's very easy for anybody to phone through to the hotel and go direct through to Mark Boucher's hotel room or Lance Klusener. That shouldn't happen, it should go through the Manager and he should control which calls may or may not go through to the players.
The whole question of cellular phones. I would have thought that from the moment you get into your hotel bus to go to a practise, to a match and return, the player's shouldn't have cellphones with them. Not only to eliminate the possibility of bookmakers or agents communicating with them, but also from a detraction point of view. They should be focusing entirely on the match and nothing else.
The whole question of education of this particular problem in South African cricket and world cricket. We're running our Plascon Academy, this is a set-up where once a year the most talented young cricketers come to Johannesburg, aged 18 to 22, and are given the best in coaching, the best in advice, how to handle the media, psychology, physiology. I think it's imperative that from now on at that level of our game, young players are educated on the dangers of this particular practice.
I think it's also important that one should limit, or not limit, that the players should be beholden to inform the Board of gifts that might flow into their hands beyond a certain limit, R50/R100 limit. One is hearing stories of motorcars, of suits, of watches being given to players, and that might very well be the starting point for control of the players. I think that's an important issue.
And the other issue which I think is very important on annual basis, is the whole question of recording, doesn't matter how, the assets and liabilities of any particular cricketer on an annual basis, so there's control in that regard.
MR GAUNTLETT: Doctor Bacher, you indicated earlier how you felt devastated by what had happened in relation to these events, how do you assess as we are now - and again the events are still to unfold, you are to go to the ICC next week and no doubt some of these aspects will be discussed, now how do you assess what has been the impact on South African cricket of the events of the past couple of months?
DR BACHER: Well certainly, Mr Gauntlett, you know the revelations as I've said previously, has shattered this country. I can't recall ever in my long association with sport in this country, which goes back to the 60s, any particular sporting issue to have ever dominated the news as persistently and strongly as this particular issue. But I see a positive side to it. I've said previously this year and I stand by what I say, without having actual evidence, I'm not a policeman, but I am as confident as one can possibly be that match fixing, match manipulation has taken place in world cricket and for the very first time in my experience as an international administrator, the world cricketing authorities are taking this practice very, very seriously. I think previously administrators have been very defensive and there's a stock phrase "where's the evidence", but I think in an inquiry of this nature where we get the information, it must be taken seriously, it's got to be taken seriously.
So if I look down the road - and I would like to commend the Judge and the government, I think it's a bench mark for world cricket, this open process. I would like to compliment the players who've been honest and open in this forum, that only good can come of it. What has happened must come out in the public domain, and I think by doing this we can ensure that long term future of the game and the immediate future of the game is bright and it is bright, certainly in South African cricket, because there's a huge emerging base pool of cricketers who want to play their role in international cricket. It's going to be bumpy now, but we must face it. We must handle it decisively and firmly as responsible administrators, clean up the act, clean up the mess, put in safety factors, safety measures, to ensure that it never ever happens again. And I believe we have the determination in South Africa to achieve that objective.
MR GAUNTLETT: Doctor Bacher, do you believe - I know with hindsights and exact ...(indistinct), but do you believe that the UCB is beyond criticism in relation to these events? Do you have a sense that in some respects at least, the UCB may have failed, players may have failed the public and failed international friends?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett. On reflection, I honestly believe that we have underestimated the inducement factor on cricketers. You've got young cricketers, inexperienced cricketers, some of them very talented at their sport but may not have had the best possible education, for political reasons in South Africa, they now get exposed to this international forum where inducements are substantial, are real and have been happening. So I think we need to look at that factor very, very seriously.
We also need, in my humble opinion, to ensure in the future that our young cricketers - and there are some wonderfully talented cricketers in this country with wonderful skills and wonderful potential, that we put in place structures, systems in place, to ensure that the inducement factor does not come into play.
I think too, and I made it clear this morning that - and I hope this is received in the world of cricket that this is not an attack by the United Cricket Board on any particular Board, this is a problem that goes beyond cricket administrators. In my humble opinion you're talking about mafia type operation, underground, illegally acting, that manipulating players, some players in some matches. It's a very serious issue. Cricket administrators on their own cannot solve all these problems, it will need the cooperation, liaison and support of governments and the police forces in those respective countries.
MR GAUNTLETT: Doctor Bacher, you've referred to the report by Mr Bob Woolmer and also to - on enquiry you were asked about the report of Mr Robbie Muzzell, the Team Manager at the time, relating to the 1996 tour, and in particular as to whether there was any mention by either of them of knowledge of some kind of an approach made to players at the fifth one-day international in Nagpur. You have the two reports in front of you, do you?
DR BACHER: Yes, I do.
MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry, yes of course it's the 1996 game we're talking about. Does either report refer to an approach being made as recorded in the report-back to you?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, I have read both these reports, there's no mention whatsoever, whatsoever of any offer made to the South African team to throw that particular match.
MR GAUNTLETT: I say that just to clarify something, because apparently Mr Woolmer has it that he did so report. We can't ourselves read it in the report and we wondered if you were successful in that regard.
DR BACHER: I've read his report. As I've said earlier, it was forwarded to me seven days after he arrived back in South Africa, after an arduous two-month tour of the subcontinent. It's a very comprehensive report, it's a very detailed report and it goes on to many different specific issues on that tour. There's no mention whatsoever, or any reference to any approach made to the South African team during that tour.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner, if we could hand those in to you.
COMMISSIONER: Apart from what's in the report and what's not in the report, Doctor Bacher, can you recall Mr Woolmer having told you about such an incident?
DR BACHER: Sir, I have no recollection of Mr Woolmer ever saying to me, or mentioning to me about that approach.
COMMISSIONER: And if he had, you'd have taken it further?
DR BACHER: Absolutely.
MR GAUNTLETT: The Commissioner asked shortly before lunch about the names of players in relation to particular games you recall and you were busy doing an audit as to who was out of primary school and who was involved in agriculture at the time, are you able to answer the question now?
DR BACHER: Sir, the only name I omitted, who is in the present team, is Daryll Cullinan. Donald did not play.
MR GAUNTLETT: Could you just repeat the names then because the Commissioner's microphone was off. Just give the full list.
DR BACHER: Of the current South African players it would include:
Hansie Cronje (former Captain)
COMMISSIONER: Symcox ...(indistinct) he's not a current player?
DR BACHER: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you.
MR GAUNTLETT: Lastly, Doctor Bacher, for you as you step back and you look at all that's happened in these events and the revelations that there were and the devastation that you've described, is there for you any final lesson which emerges from all this?
DR BACHER: I would sum up my feeling as follows, that if the bookmakers can get to Hansie Cronje, they can get to anybody in world cricket.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLETT
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
Just one aspect, Doctor Bacher. We all now know that Herschelle Gibbs gave evidence last Thursday and you know the nature of his evidence, have you spoken to him at all since he testified before this Commission?
DR BACHER: Yes Sir, at 11 o'clock last Thursday morning, my Executive Committee, we had a telephone link-up, we discussed what he'd ultimately said before this Commission. We had a certain stance. I phoned him and conveyed it to him that firstly, he would not be going to Sri Lanka, secondly, we would await the Judge's interim report, his findings, his recommendations and thereafter to convene our own internal disciplinary hearing. I believe he understood exactly what I said. He was very courteous to me on the telephone. It lasted about two minutes, three minutes. Within two minutes he phoned me and he said the following to me: "Doctor Bacher, I'd like to apologise to you and the United Cricket Board for lying to you." But I think more importantly he said to me: "Doctor Bacher, I hope that both you and the Cricket Board will accept my apology."
MR FITZGERALD: Thank you, Doctor Bacher. I have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR FITZGERALD
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dickerson.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DICKERSON: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
Doctor Bacher, you indicated in your evidence, both in relation to yourself and the bookmaker whom you spoke to in London and elsewhere, that there were concerns about physical safety and that you yourself have received threats. I take it those threats were threats of physical violence. Please could you answer the question, the microphone doesn't pick it up when you nod.
DR BACHER: Yes, I have received threats of physical violence.
MR DICKERSON: It would therefore come as no surprise to you to hear that Hansie Cronje too has received threats, including death threats.
DR BACHER: I would be very, very surprised if this wasn't the case.
MR DICKERSON: And I take it that in that context what you mean is that the threats are related to the type of revelations which you have made in the course of this Commission.
DR BACHER: Most definitely yes.
MR DICKERSON: I listened with interest to your evidence regarding the initial suspicions which arose in your mind about match fixing and one of the factors to which you pointed as giving rise to those suspicions was your observation, based upon your wealth of experience in cricket, that in certain instances the Pakistani team did not appear to be trying very hard and looked disinterested. My question to you is this, have you ever in watching the South African cricket team play under Hansie Cronje's captaincy, ever felt the same way or made the same observation?
DR BACHER: Definitely not.
MR DICKERSON: Lastly Doctor Bacher, were you not aware, or was your Board not aware earlier this year that a series of benefit matches were to be played in India in April, inter alia in April of this year, by a Hansie Cronje 11?
DR BACHER: I can record as follows, that in March of this year Hansie phoned me to indicate to me that some of the players had been invited to go to India for a few benefit matches. I can recall very clearly saying to him: "Hansie, have you chaps not had enough cricket?" He said to me: "Doc, it's only for about seven to ten days. It will only involve a few matches", and I said: "In that context, alright, if you don't feel that you've had too much cricket, I do not have a problem." I've learnt subsequently, which was never brought to my attention unfortunately, that these arrangements were being made in January of this year, it wasn't purely just a few players, in fact it involved about 13 South African players who would go across to India, play in benefit matches under the Hansie Cronje 11 banner and also that it would be played against, in all probability, a team selected by Mohammed Azhuradien. That was not conveyed to me by Hansie Cronje, unfortunately.
MR DICKERSON: You were however aware that there was a planned series of benefit matches which he would attend and which would involve some other South African players.
DR BACHER: In that context, yes.
MR DICKERSON: Mr Commissioner, we have no further questions at this stage. There are matters which we are considering, it may be necessary in due course for us to put further questions. If that arises, we will address it in due course, but for the nonce we have no objection to Doctor Bacher being provisionally excused, and we'll address the Commission in due course if the need arises. Thank you.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DICKERSON
COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
Mr Bacher, you mention in your statement at page 7, that South Africa is a full member of the ICC, is that correct?
DR BACHER: That is correct, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: How many members are there? Member countries.
DR BACHER: There are nine test playing countries and they are known as full member countries. Bangladesh are in the process for applying for full member status at the June conference in London. If they are successful, and the indications are that they will be successful, they will become the tenth test playing country and we'll therefore have ten full member countries.
MS BATOHI: Who makes up the Executive Board of the ICC?
DR BACHER: The Executive Board is made up as follows, it's a body of seventeen people. Each test playing country will have one representative, that's nine, the associated member counties of which there are twenty-six, they select three, so that's twelve. Associated member countries are countries at a lower level of play, like Holland, Ireland, Scotland, Canada. The President of the ICC, and the Chief Executives and then recently three important portfolios have been created, the Chairman of Finance and Marketing, the Chairman of the Cricket Committee and the Chairman of the Development Committee, and those three people sit on the Executive Board. So in toto it's a body of seventeen people. It's a new structure within world cricket. This constitution was approved in June of 1997.
MS BATOHI: Who is South Africa's representative on this Board?
DR BACHER: We have, as I speak to you Ma'am, two representatives, Adv Percy Sonn is the United Cricket Board representative, I in my position as Chairman of the International Cricket Council Development Committee, also sit on that Executive Board. However, it is my intention to relinquish this position which I've held since 1996, at the forthcoming annual conference.
MS BATOHI: Now your statement at paragraph 33 says that the Executive Board of the ICC, had a special meeting at the beginning of May this year, to address the allegations of corruption affecting the game. Is this the first time that the ICC had a special meeting specifically to deal with corruption in the game?
DR BACHER: No Ma'am, this would be the second time. In February of 1999, in Christchurch, New Zealand, as a result of the revelations coming from Australia, Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, that in fact they had been offered money and accepted money in 1994, to provide information to a bookmaker in Colombo. For whatever reason this never became public knowledge, it surfaced before that meeting, and the ICC and the Executive Board meeting in Christchurch in February 1999, where for the very first time this issue was seriously addressed.
MS BATOHI: So what you're saying then is that that report from Australia, which dealt with the 1994 issue, was never brought to the attention of the ICC until February 1999?
DR BACHER: No Ma'am, that's not entirely true, Sir Clyde Walkett who was then the Chairman of the ICC, and David Richards who was the Chief Executive of the ICC, were informed of what had taken place in Colombo in 1994, by Alan Crompton who was the former Chairman of the Australian Cricket Board, and Mr Graham Halbridge who was a former Chief Executive. For whatever reason, all four agreed not to make it public knowledge at that time, and not to inform other cricketing administrators of what had transpired in Colombo in 1994.
MS BATOHI: Had this matter been discussed, the failure of these officials to bring it to the attention of the ICC?
DR BACHER: There's no question that there have been serious concerns why this very important issue was never made public and brought to the attention of the International Cricket Council.
MS BATOHI: Well my question was whether the ICC has addressed that.
DR BACHER: Sorry Ma'am, I'm not with you, sorry.
COMMISSIONER: You mean that particular issue, Ms Batoyi?
MS BATOHI: The fact that two members, if I understand your evidence correctly, of the ICC, were informed by Patrick Crompton about this but that they agreed not to bring it to the attention of the ICC, is that correct? And if so, then has that issue been discussed at the ICC, the fact that they chose or decided not to bring it to the attention of the ICC?
DR BACHER: It was never brought to the attention of the ICC and there's no question at this point in time. There's a viewpoint by the ICC that it should have been brought to the attention of all administrators at that particular time.
MS BATOHI: When was the first time - was February 1999 the first time that you became aware of these revelations from Australia?
DR BACHER: No, the story leak as it were, by a media person within Australia in the latter part, I would say, of 1998 - it wasn't forthcoming from the Australian Cricket Board, a reporter, you know, divulged this information for the very first time.
MS BATOHI: Your statement also states at paragraph 35, that although the penalties set out in one of your exhibits, AB7, were ratified by the ICC's Executive Board in October of '99, they were only dispatched to member countries two days after the public revelations concerning Cronje. Are you in a position to say why this was the case?
DR BACHER: It can only be a question of - how could I put it, Ma'am, maladministration at that point in time. It should have been circulated in October to all member countries, to go out to all their players immediately. It didn't happen. It was only after the Hansie Cronje revelations in South Africa that I received for the very first time from London, details of the precise match - the penalties that will be forthcoming in international cricket.
MS BATOHI: Is it a correct assumption to say that the ICC didn't see this as a major problem at that time in international cricket, that needed to be dealt with as a matter or urgency? Or what is the case?
DR BACHER: Now I wouldn't say that was the case. The problem as I see it, and it's been expressed on quite a few occasions at the ICC, the ICC's under-resourced people-wise, it still doesn't have a full time Media Manager, it doesn't have a Marketing Manager, it's limited in personnel to carry effectively and efficiently the overall administration of the international body, and I would say that that would be probably the reason why an important document like this was not immediately forwarded to all the member countries. They are desperately short on people in London.
MS BATOHI: Doctor Bacher, I'm going to deal with the 1996 issue, the offer that was made to the team then. Your evidence has been that you only became aware of this offer when Jonty Rhodes mentioned something to you on, I think it's Tuesday the 11th of April at the meeting, but then just - sorry, just to go further, you say the first time that you had been made aware of this was during a casual conversation with Mr Cronje, when he mentioned to you that an approach had been made, and this was just a few weeks prior to Jonty Rhodes discussing it with you, is that correct?
DR BACHER: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Your evidence has been you couldn't quite remember what the circumstances were of this - or Cronje - or what the actual context was in which Cronje said that to you, but can you try to remember when that was, where that was and how it came about that he mentioned something like that to you?
DR BACHER: Ma'am, it's very difficult to be precise. You know, I would be in contact with the national Captain, regularly, sometimes three or four times a day. And you'd have discussions about many different aspects of the game. And I can't recall what the main gist of our discussion was. But just out of the blue, almost impromptu, the last thing, as I said to you earlier, for 10 seconds, 'There was an offer to throw a match. We didn't accept it. We didn't take it seriously.' But I'm absolutely certain that there was no mention of the year, the match and the amount of money. It was just dismissed within 10 seconds.
MS BATOHI: Weren't you curious to know what on earth he was talking about? This must have been a serious issue.
DR BACHER: The issue as far as I was concerned, was that that was the response that I would have expected from the national Captain. That if there was an offer, just to immediately dismiss it. And to me the thought that the South African Captain of the team could remotely consider an offer of any nature like this, to me was unthinkable.
MS BATOHI: I hear exactly what you're saying, but my question to you is that at the time when he said that to you, it may have been 10 seconds, or it was a quick something that he just mentioned, in view of the fact that what was going on in world cricket already, the Australian issue, et cetera, didn't you think it was something important that you needed to find out more about?
DR BACHER: Ma'am, in hindsight, you're absolutely right. There can be no question about it.
MS BATOHI: There's just something else I'd like you to comment on about the 1996 issue. The evidence of Bronwyn Wilkinson was that she, as a journalist, had gotten wind of this, so to speak, about two years ago. And the evidence of many of the players is that, if it hasn't already been lead, will be that it was something that they often joked about, it was absolutely no secret within the team. Now can you explain how it was possible then that you had absolutely no knowledge of this, given that it was - there was nothing secretive about it, and the fact that the press had already heard about it some two years before that?
DR BACHER: Ma'am, no player has ever spoken to me about it prior to our meeting in Durban where, for the very first time, Jonty Rhodes alluded to the offer in 1996. No player. I've seen one press report, just one, in 1998. I might have been overseas, I might have not got that newspaper, but I cannot honestly ever recall being aware of this particular offer.
MS BATOHI: In fact, I think it might be fair to put this to you so that you can comment on it. During an interview with Bob Woolmer, he said that he specifically recalls having mentioned this to you, in your office upon the return of the team from India.
DR BACHER: I've gone public, and I know what Bob Woolmer has alleged to have said. I cannot recall him ever talking to me about it.
MS BATOHI: Well, if he did in fact tell you that this was the case, what steps would you have taken?
DR BACHER: It obviously was a very serious offer, and it was seriously considered by the players. It would have been automatic to have informed the Board about it, to have an inquiry, to inform the ICC about it, and also to bring it to the attention of the Indian cricket authorities.
MS BATOHI: I take it that if any member of your Management team had been aware of that, you would have expected them to have brought that to your attention.
DR BACHER: Most definitely, and I've shown in the report from Robbie Muzzell, he was the Manager of the team, there's no mention whatsoever in that official report.
MS BATOHI: Just on Mr Muzzell, during your evidence you mentioned that at some stage Mr Muzzell's advice to the team was that they should not speak about or even joke about it. Firstly, when did you have this conversation with Mr Muzzell? Was that after the revelations by Mr Cronje?
DR BACHER: Yes, after the revelations about Mr Cronje in the newspapers, the 1996 offer, came into the public domain. There were comments by different players, there was one meeting, two meetings, three meetings. I phoned Robbie Muzzell, who lives in East London, and I said, 'Robbie, what's going on here? What happened?' He then said to me on the telephone that it came up in discussion in the Team Room before that one-day international match. He said to the chaps, "don't talk about it, don't think about it, don't joke about it, in this room and in the corridors of this hotel."
MS BATOHI: Am I correct in understanding then, the Mr Muzzell was in fact present during that meeting to discuss the offer, or am I not understanding you properly?
DR BACHER: From what I can gather he was never present at the meeting. This was just a - at the end of the day's play, the chaps would get together for a couple of drinks or sandwiches there, and it was just loose talk. He denies that he ever was involved in a team meeting where this issue was formally discussed and debated.
MS BATOHI: So am I correct then, am I understanding you correctly, that it was still in the India - during that India series or tour that he became aware of the offer, and that he told them that it's something they shouldn't talk about or even joke about?
DR BACHER: That's correct.
MS BATOHI: What was Mr Muzzell's position in the team at that stage?
DR BACHER: He was the Manager of the South African team.
MS BATOHI: Wouldn't you have expected him to have brought that to your attention at that time, being the Manager of the team?
DR BACHER: Yes, I would have thought so.
MS BATOHI: Did you at any stage ask him why he chose not to?
DR BACHER: My only discussion and conversation with him is my telephone call to him when it became public knowledge of this particular offer.
MS BATOHI: And is he still an Executive member of the UCB?
DR BACHER: Correct. He's still and Executive Committee member of the United Cricket Board of South Africa.
MS BATOHI: If you'll please bear with me, Mr Commissioner. You see, Dr Bacher, I have a - well, it's not really a - it's a statement of Mr Muzzell that's been handed to me by his attorney. It states here in the fourth paragraph:
"The first time that he", that's Mr Muzzell, "heard that there'd been a team meeting to discuss a monetary offer made to the team was in Cape Town on the 14th of April 2000, at the one-day international against Australia. He was shocked to learn that there was an official meeting, but knew nothing about the incident during the tour."
Can you comment on that?
DR BACHER: Ma'am, I can only comment on what he said to me when I telephoned him. And I've - I'll repeat it if you'd like me to. He said they were in a hotel room, it wasn't a team meeting, it was a normal get-together of the players at the end of the day's play, and in loose discussion it was - mention was made of this particular offer. He said, "chaps, don't talk about it, don't think about it, don't laugh about it in this room or in the corridors."
MS BATOHI: Yes, I accept that and I suppose that'll be something that Mr Muzzell himself will have to answer. The decision to upgrade that match, the benefit match in India to a full one-day international, who took that decision?
DR BACHER: That was a decision taken by Mr Dalmiya (?) and myself. It involved the two national team playing, and when they play each other it automatically has official one-day interactional status. My concern was that a benefit match should never, ever be placed whereby it becomes an official one-day international match. It was the benefit factor that worried me.
MS BATOHI: You're aware of the testimony of Mr Symcox, that he was approached during the Mandela Cup in '94/'95 by Mr Cronje. Is this something you would have expected Mr Symcox to bring to the attention of the UCB?
DR BACHER: He should have brought it immediately to our attention.
MS BATOHI: Please bear with me, Mr Commissioner. Dr Bacher, do you think that there was any duty perhaps on the UCB to educate players about these practices, and what to do in the event of approaches being made et cetera?
DR BACHER: Well, Ma'am, we did two things. a) We inserted it in the contract, but on reflection, you know, as more and more revelations come to the fore there's no question that we should have, and should be, involved in an educational process with our cricketers, particularly our young cricketer.
Let me say to you that the contracts now are very comprehensive with regard to this particular form of malpractice, and the players will tell you that when they came to see me for their contracts, I said to every one of them, "please take it seriously. Take your contracts to a lawyer friend, and accountant friend, and let somebody go through very, very carefully you know, about the consequences of anybody involved in this malpractice."
But I take your point, and I made the point to Mr Gauntlett today that as part of our future role to ensure that it never happens again there must be a very well thought of comprehensive, educational process for all our senior cricketers.
MS BATOHI: This new contract, was that drafted after the Hansie Cronje revelations, if you can call it that?
DR BACHER: Yes, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: And what are the significant changes or new introductions in this contract?
DR BACHER: It's about 21/4 pages, whereas previously it just said three lines that the players may not participate in betting activities, et cetera. It just goes through, and if you want me to I'll read it out exactly, you know, what is permitted and what is not permitted in regard to this practise.
MS BATOHI: If you'll bear with me, please, Mr Commissioner. Dr Bacher, just one last thing. You've testified about a person that you've referred to as a 'Mr R'. You obviously know this person?
DR BACHER: Yes, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: Can you say with any degree of certainty whether or not - do you know Mr Sanjeev Chawla or have you seen a photograph of him?
DR BACHER: That question was asked of me previously, and I said I've never met him, I don't know the person.
MS BATOHI: So it's - I suppose you wouldn't know whether 'Mr R' is in fact Mr Chawla or not.
DR BACHER: I don't believe 'Mr R' is Mr Sanjeev Chawla.
MS BATOHI: Thank you. I have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI
COMMISSIONER: Dr Bacher, just a point of information. This ICC Conference, when is it being held? Can you give me the dates specifically?
DR BACHER: Sir, it's in London. The members of the ICC Executive Board will meet this coming Sunday, a week, and today two weeks is the annual conference of the International Cricket Council.
COMMISSIONER: Dr Bacher, you've been a great help to us. Thank you very much.
DR BACHER: Thank you.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner, before Dr Bacher goes, may I just ask if he could be provisionally excused on the basis that you'll obviously direct him to come back, and he will do so if and when needed. The Commission has been informed that a problem is that he is due to go to England this weekend, and we would ask if that could be borne in mind, that no doubt it would be. But obviously Dr Bacher would do whatever he can to try and fit in if he is required.
And secondly, Mr Commissioner, I know Dr Bacher would like it communicated, if we may do so, that he intends to say nothing about what he has testified here today again in any media disclosures. He has spoken, he has spoken to the Commission. And I that is also, I think, to assist the task of the media representatives present here, who otherwise may be inclined to follow up with him. He cannot and will not say anything further.
COMMISSIONER: Yes, I hear what you say, Mr Gauntlett. Mr Dickerson you've taken note of Dr Bacher's peregrinations, I take it?
MR DICKERSON: Yes, we have.
COMMISSIONER: You'll bear them in mind.