COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS
HELD ON: 13-06-2000
AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK
ON RESUMPTION ON TUESDAY 13TH JUNE 2000 AT 09H55
MR GAUNTLETT ADDRESSES: Mr Commissioner, with your leave, may I briefly recall Dr Bacher? Immediately at the end of the day's proceedings yesterday, I indicated to Ms Batohi that I thought there was a crossed wire and a bit of a muddle on one particular point, and it may be easier and also cheaper to try and sort it out in this particular way. If I may?
ARON BACHER: (s.u.o)
RE-EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, of course you're still under oath to speak the truth.
DR BACHER: Yes.
MR GAUNTLETT: Dr Bacher, it relates to what you were saying about Mr Muzzell, the President of Border Cricket since 1990, and who was the Manager of the South African team to India in 1996.
And you had indicated to the Commission that your recollection was that Mr Muzzell had indicated to you after the events broke, that he had some kind of knowledge of some kind of approach to the team along that lines that we've been discussing. In other words, there was talk of rigging a match.
And it was put to you by Ms Batohi that Mr Muzzell has made
a statement, given the Commission a statement, saying:
"The first time he heard that there had been a team meeting to discuss a monetary offer made to the team was in Cape Town on the 14th of April this year 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."
Now, Dr Bacher, in the presence of your legal representatives did you speak to Mr Muzzell and clarify, and try and clarify what the position was?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett. At the latter part of yesterday, as you said in the presence of the United Cricket Board lawyers, I phoned Robbie Muzzell in East London. He concurred that I had phoned him when it emerged a few weeks ago in South African newspapers that there was a serious offer to our players to throw the last one-day international in India.
He said to me that he did say to me that he had said at a team informal meeting in the team room, at the end of one of the days play, "Chaps, don't think about it, don't talk about it, don't laugh about it, in this room, in the corridors." But what he said to me last night, it was said in a general sense in relation to a very brief informal discussion about match-fixing on the sub-continent. He said it was not related to the specific match, and he was not aware of this specific match until the Australians came here in April. It was the second one-day international in Cape Town. He went to the change-room, and he said yesterday that was the first time he had been informed of this particular offer for that particular match.
MR GAUNTLETT: So do you accept what Mr Muzzell, as Ms Batohi has put - how he has it in his statement, that there was no specific incident he was talking about. It was some general discussion, and the first time he learnt of this specific incident was on the 14th of April?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: One last aspect, Dr Bacher, and that is that has there been a response, and we're appreciative of the fact that this is electronic hearsay, but has there been a response by Mr Majid Khan in relation to what you said yesterday?
DR BACHER: Yes, Mr Gauntlett. As I'd indicated yesterday that I got permission from Majid Khan to go public relating to the information that he'd provided to me at Wimbledon, that two World Cup matches were fixed, he's gone public, Sir, in Pakistan, that is, he's in fact said exactly what he said and he stands by what he said to me, and that is it.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, I'd actually asked to have the electronic text in front of you, which now seems not to be in front of you. I wonder if you could just read it to the Commission, and then we'll hand it up to the Commission itself, perhaps. While you were doing that, could you also indicate to the Commissioner, what does Mr Majid Khan say about assisting the Commission in any way he can?
DR BACHER: Mr Gauntlett, could I read this report, which comes via Cricinfo. It says:
"Pakistan's Majid Khan confirms rigged World Cup."
The date is the 12th of June 2000. It comes from Karachi, June 12th, via AFP. It says:
"Former Pakistani cricket official Majid Khan confirmed Monday he told South African cricket Chief, Ali Bacher, that two matches during the '99 World Cup match were fixed.
'Whatever Bacher has stated about me is correct, and I stand by his statement that those matches were fixed', Khan told AFP here. 'I do not want to add anything except that I did speak to him about these matches having been fixed', the ex-Chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board said. 'Whatever Bacher has stated is true.'"
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Dr Bacher. Thank you, Mr Commissioner. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLETT
COMMISSIONER: Thank you. Mr Fitzgerald, anything you wish to ask Dr Bacher?
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD: Yes, Mr Commissioner, it doesn't relate directly to the evidence he's just given, but may I be permitted an indulgence?
Dr Bacher, is it correct that on Friday the 2nd of June you met in Johannesburg with the legal representatives of the players, and in particular, the legal representatives of Herschelle Gibbs?
DR BACHER: That is correct, Mr Fitzgerald.
MR FITZGERALD: Is it correct that at that meeting what Herschelle told the Commission was disclosed to you via his legal representatives?
DR BACHER: That is correct, Mr Fitzgerald.
MR FITZGERALD: And is it correct that at that stage no indemnity had yet been offered to him?
DR BACHER: That is correct, Mr Fitzgerald.
MR FITZGERALD: No further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR FITZGERALD
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dickerson, anything you wish to ask Dr Bacher?
MR DICKERSON: No, Mr Commissioner, but of course subject to the caveat we expressed yesterday.
COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi, anything you wish ...(intervention)
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Yes, thank you, Mr Commissioner. Dr Bacher, your evidence today seems to suggest that when Mr Muzzell mentioned this to you he was talking in general about offers, and not about the particular 1996 offer.
DR BACHER: That is correct, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: Now I'm going to look at what you mentioned yesterday in your evidence, and I'm going to just refresh your memory. You stated that:
this is what Mr Muzzell's supposed to have told you:
"At the end of the day's play and in a 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.'"
Now yesterday your evidence was very specific that when Mr Muzzell made the comment to you he was talking about 'this particular offer'. Are you now saying that that isn't the case?
DR BACHER: Well, Ma'am, I think there, you know, lines of communication between Mr Muzzell and myself were obviously faulty. I mean, I phoned him specifically in relation to this particular match. It emerged in the newspapers, and I remember phoning and saying, 'Robbie, what's going on? What happened?'. He is very certain that he spoke in general terms, not specifically related to this particular match.
MS BATOHI: When did he say that to you?
DR BACHER: Last night.
MS BATOHI: Was that after your testimony?
DR BACHER: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: How did it come about that you initially thought he was talking about this particular 1996 offer when he told you that he told the players not to discuss it or joke about it?
DR BACHER: It was related to it emerging for the very first time in our newspapers that there was possibly one meeting, two meetings, three meetings that the players had discussed this offer. Immediately I saw the newspapers, I phoned him. And I remember saying to him, 'Robbie, I've seen what's happening the newspaper. What's happening? What happened there?'.
MS BATOHI: And at then end of yesterday's testimony, you know I don't want to labour the point, but the impression was that when you phoned him then because of what was appearing in the newspapers about the '96 offer, when you phoned him then about that particular offer that was when he said that in a loose discussion mention was made of that offer, that was some time in India - well, in 1996, and he said, 'Chaps, don't talk about it, don't think about it', et cetera.
But your evidence yesterday was clear that when these things emerged in the newspaper, it was the '96 offer that was being written about. You contacted Mr Muzzell and he told you what you testified about yesterday. Why is he changing his evidence now. Do you know?
DR BACHER: No ...(intervention)
MR GAUNTLETT: No, it's not fair, Mr Commissioner.
MS BATOHI: I beg your pardon.
MR GAUNTLETT: There's no suggestion that Mr Muzzell has changed his evidence, and I think Ms Batohi should also confirm that even before I spoke to Dr Bacher yesterday, I immediately approached her and said there'd been an error.
MS BATOHI: Well, let me rephrase that. I confirm that Mr Gauntlett did say there was an error, but I'm just concerned about the fact that yesterday in your testimony you were quite clear that when you became aware of the '96 offer you asked him about it, and his evidence was that it was during the course of a loose discussion in '96 when he told the chaps not to talk or joke about it. Now after having discussed it with you yesterday it appears that he's saying something different. Is that correct?
DR BACHER: I really think it is a question of just faulty lines of communication. Robbie Muzzell I've known for decades. He's a very honest man, and if he said to me last night I would accept his word that when he responded to me when I phoned him a few weeks ago, it was in a general sense not related to a specific match.
COMMISSIONER: I think we can let it rest there Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: I'll accept that, Mr Commissioner. If you'll just bear with me for a moment.
I've no further questions, thank you.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI
COMMISSIONER: Mr Gauntlett.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. No questions. COMMISSIONER: Did you form any impression that, in your recent discussions with Mr Muzzell, Robbie Muzzell, that he might usefully assist the Commission with evidence of a general nature regarding allegations of misconduct?
DR BACHER: To be honest, I don't think so, Sir.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.