Warne dismisses gambling scandal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warne dismisses gambling scandal

By Adam Cooper and Michael Donaldson 16/02/2004 07:12:08 PM Comments (0)

Shane Warne has dismissed a claim he was seen with an Indian gambler during the 1999 World Cup, with Cricket Australia ruling out an inquiry despite the leg spinner's previous link with a bookmaker.

An Indian magazine has published a claim from an unidentified businessmen, who alleges he saw Warne and West Indies captain Brian Lara in the company of Delhi-based gambler Ratan Mehta, who is under investigation for match-fixing.

Outlook reports the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit suspects Mehta of fixing a match between India and Pakistan during the 1999 World Cup, which India won by 47 runs.

While there is no suggestion Warne was involved in the alleged match-fixing, Outlook reports Warne and Lara were seen leaving a London pizza restaurant with Mehta by a Delhi-based businessman, who has since been interviewed by members of the anti-corruption unit.

The businessman's statement to the anti-corruption unit says: "Two or three days after the India-Pakistan match I bumped into Mehta again. This time he was coming out of the Pizza Pomodoro restaurant in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge. He was with Shane Warne, Brian Lara and another cricketer, whose name I cannot be sure of."

Warne confirmed he had dined with Lara at the Pizza Pomodoro restaurant, but said he had never heard of or met Mehta.

Warne and Cricket Australia (CA) separately dismissed the businessman's claim.

"This story is total rubbish and completely untrue," Warne said in a statement.

"The only time I have had dinner with Brian Lara in London was at the Pizza Pomodoro with his manager, David Manassi, and my good friend, (soccer player) Dwight Yorke.

"As Far as Ratan Mehta is concerned, I have never even heard of him before."

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