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  Madhavan's Verdict on Match Fixing : The Complete Report  
 

 

NAYAN MONGIA

198. In the report, the salient features of the statement of Nayan Mongia recorded by CBI is furnished at Pages 79-80. I have obtained from the CBI his full statement as recorded by the CBI, which is available at Pages 032-035 of Vol.-II. His statement recorded by me and the documents given by him to me are placed at Pages 124-132 of Vol.-III.

199. In the statement recorded by CBI, Mongia stated that when the alleged Singer Cup incident took place in 1994 in Sri Lanka, he was occupying the adjoining room in the hotel and he never heard anything about that incident till it surfaced in the newspapers. He added, "I categorically state that Manoj Prabhakar never told me while in Sri Lanka or any time thereafter about this incident". He also stated before the CBI that he never came across any commotion etc. as a sequel to the alleged offer. He did not also recollect any journalist sitting in his room at that point of time. He first heard of this allegation when Shri I.S. Bindra made the said allegation on TV. Mongia's roommate Prashant Vaidya also never mentioned anything to him about the said incident.

200. In the statement recorded by me, Nayan Mongia added some further information regarding the events which took place and stated as under:

"We stayed in the said hotel, the name of which I do not recall now, for 15 days. During the said 15 days, Kapil Dev came to my room, when I was present there, only once. He was accompanied by one Kuri Ibrahim of TNQ Communications, Chennai who were advertising agents. Kuri Ibrahim is Chennai based. Kapil Dev told me that Kuri Ibrahim was agent for advertising for Four Square cigarettes and that they were willing to offer me an advertising contract for Four Square for a period of three years for a consideration, if I remember correctly, of Rs. 4 lakhs for the first and second years and about Rs. 6 lakhs for the third year and whether I was willing to accept it.

As Kapil Dev is a respected senior cricketer, I told him that whatever Kapil Dev suggested was agreeable to me. A small preliminary contract was signed by Kuri Ibrahim and myself on that day. The full-fledged contract was signed by us soon thereafter in Nagpur and I was given a copy of the contract. In 1997, the contract was renewed for a further period of three years and the consideration agreed upon was Rs. 15 lakhs in the first year, Rs. 15 lakhs in the second year and Rs. 16.5 lakhs in the third year. The contract is due to expire in December 2000. On that day, after finishing the talk in our room, Kapil Dev and Kuri Ibrahim went from my room, through the communicating door, to the room of Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Singh Sidhu. Thereafter I did not hear any commotion etc., as mentioned earlier in my statement recorded by you today.

"I had mentioned this fact to the CBI also, but I find that it is not recorded in my statement. I do not know the reason therefor. All the same, I confirm that what has been recorded by the CBI regarding my not hearing any commotion etc., and the other facts in this regard are correctly recorded".

201. From the above also it would be seen that Nayan Mongia, who was within earshot when the alleged incident took place, has totally refuted the allegation made by Manoj Prabhakar.

202. In the statement recorded by the CBI as well as by me, Nayan Mongia stated that no selector had asked for money from him to select him nor did he ever make such a statement. He had also never cast any allegation on Ajit Wadekar for any monetary transactions and he had never made such statement.

203. Before the CBI as well as me, Mongia stated that he had never come across any activity of match fixing and betting in respect of Indian players. He added that if such activities were going on without his knowledge, he cannot obviously know about that. He had never been approached by any player, former player, bookie or punter to underperform or throw away match for a consideration. Any allegation about him in this regard is false and baseless and he denies the same strongly/vehemently.

204. In the statement recorded by me, Nayan Mongia added the following, which does not figure in the statement recorded by the CBI.

"In this context, I would like to mention that after gaining experience at the international level, from 1995-96 till now, I have never dropped a catch nor missed a stumping chance. I am quite confident that if video-tapes of all the matches in which I have played are viewed not a single lapse of that type can been seen. I may add therefore that such allegations about me have deeply affected my sentiment and I am upset over such false allegations".

205. In the statement recorded by the CBI, Nayan Mongia had stated in respect of the Kanpur match that it was decided uniformly by the team that wicket should not fall at any cost. Since these deliberations took place in his presence, he disclosed the same to Manoj Prabhakar, who was then batting with Mongia. Both of them followed the above mentioned instructions but to the utter surprise of Mongia himself and Manoj Prabhakar, they were banned for the next two matches for batting slow. Mongia told the CBI that this was one incident in his entire career which haunted him because he was punished for no fault of his. When CBI asked as to who exactly gave instructions to bat slow, Mongia told CBI that he did not remember but there as general talk in the dressing room.

206. In the statement recorded by me, Mongia confirmed the statement recorded by CBI. He added some more matters in this regard also which are reproduced below.

"Regarding the Kanpur match against West Indies, I confirm the statement recorded by CBI. I would like to add that this happened in 1994 which was the second series of my carrier and the question my wilfully doing any wrong things which would have jeopardised my whole career did not arise. When I told this to CBI that the decision not to lose wickets was taken informally by the team what I meant was that on such occasions, the Manager and Captain consult the senior cricketers and among them a decision is taken, which is conveyed to the other players in the pavilion and also to the batsmen in the field in the pretext of taking to them gloves, water etc. When I left to bat, this was the general view taken.

'I have no idea as to how many overs were left at that time and how I and Manoj Prabhakar proceeded to score, except that it was slow and we remained not out till the end.

'However, there is something missing in the CBI statement which I had conveyed to them. In one day series, qualifying teams are not decided solely on mere winning or losing of matches, but also by other calculations, except in the final. There is a method of points and quotients which are decided upon for each team based on wickets remaining, scoring rates etc. At that stage of the match, it was clear that India could never win the match. On the other hand, if larger Indian wickets remain, the question of quotients would have helped us. Not losing wickets was the general view among the players. This is what I conveyed to Manoj Prabhakar.

The method of calculating quotients is very complicated and I am not fully aware of the process.

Another submission, I would like to make is that if the Manager and the Captain in the pavilion felt that we had to score faster, they could have easily sent a message to us to that effect. The very fact that no such thing was done, I submit, confirms that this was the general view and the decision taken at that time.

Another submission, I would like to make is that I have already been punished after that match as I was dropped for two matches".

207. Towards the end of his statement recorded by me, Mongia stated that he had never been involved with any bookie/punter or any other undesirable person. He had faithfully shown in the tax returns his cricket, advertisement etc. receipts. He added that he is probably one of the highest tax payers in Baroda in his individual capacity. He had also the family business of dealing in surgical materials trading which also gives him and family a reasonably good income. He said he was a contented man and had therefore no need to be avaricious to make extra money in any wrong manner.

208. Finally, he confirmed what appears in his further statement recorded by the CBI on 6th July, 2000 wherein he stated that he had never placed any bet in any match whether in India or abroad. In particular, he denied any involvement in this regard with Mohd. Azharuddin and added that he had never received any money from Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma or any bookie. He had no idea whether Titan Cup match in 1996 between India - South Africa at Rajkot and Pepsi Cup match between India - Pakistan in Jaipur in 1999 were fixed or not. He was not involved in any dealings during these matches.

209. CBI has analysed the evidence against Nayan Mongia at Pages 121-123 of the report. After setting out a suspicion that arose about him due to the statements of certain persons, CBI has virtually concluded that there is no presentable case again him. In particular, CBI has concluded as under:
i) The evidence against Mongia is not all that strong (Page 121).
ii) His telephone analysis does not disclose any contacts with known bookies (Page 122).
iii) The evidence against Mongia is not strong (Page 121). There is no direct evidence of any player/bookie having paid Mongia money to underperform (Page 122).
iv) Mongia was not as valuable as Azharuddin or Jadeja to be approached individually (Page 122).

210. The only aspect on which CBI has faulted Mongia is the instruction he conveyed to Manoj Prabhakar during the India-West Indies one-dayer in Kanpur in 1994, which, according to CBI, "does bring him under strong suspicion".

211. Regarding this, Nayan Mongia has given a reasonably satisfactory explanation. It was obvious that there was some discussion in the dressing room/pavilion regarding not losing any further wicket and this was conveyed, may be under a mistaken impression, by Nayan Mongia to Manoj Prabhakar. In any event, if the Manager or the Captain in the pavilion felt that Nayan Mongia and Manoj Prabhakar had to score fast, they could have easily sent them a message to that effect. I am inclined to agree with Mongia that the fact that no such thing was done confirms that not losing wickets and not going for runs was the general view and decision taken at that time. Nayan Mongia is obviously not involved in match fixing or betting. He had no contacts with any bookie/punter. Even assuming that a lapse was committed by him on account of slow scoring in the Kanpur match, he has received adequate punishment therefor by being banned from two matches thereafter.

212. I would, therefore, hold the charge against Nayan Mongia not proved and I exonerate him.

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