Rice: Cricket's 'wake up call'

2010-09-09 18:56

Johannesburg - Cricket needs an urgent "wake up call" as match-fixing allegations threaten the long-term future of the game, former South Africa captain Clive Rice said on Thursday.

In an interview with SNTV at his home in Johannesburg, Rice said cricket's shattered image could now affect its ability to make money from sponsorship.

"The reputation of having match-fixing in the game will chase sponsors away flat out because they don't want to be associated with it," Rice said. "There are lots of other sports they can participate in.

"The whole revenue stream shrinks dramatically if this match-fixing is not put to bed very fast and with the intention of letting the players know: you do not get involved."

Rice claimed he had been approached to fix matches when he was a selector for the South African national team. He said he gave all the information he had to the International Cricket Council.

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing, as to what was going on," Rice said, adding he was reluctant to say too much publicly because of fear for his own safety.

"I can't give you too many details. I've given all that information to the ICC detectives, probably two years ago or three years ago, I forget. It's best it stay in their hands than out in the public eye. But they know exactly the manner in how it all happened, where it happened."

Rice was speaking in the wake of a scandal involving the Pakistan cricket team, three of whom have been questioned by police and suspended by the ICC after they were alleged by a British newspaper to have received money in return for bowling deliberate no-balls in the Lord's test against England.

The 61-year-old Rice was a close friend of former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, who Rice suspects was killed because he may have had knowledge of match-fixing.

Woolmer was found dead in a hotel room in Jamaica on March 18, 2007 during the World Cup. In November of that year, a jury in Jamaica recorded an "open verdict" in Woolmer's death after it was initially treated as murder, then as natural causes.

Woolmer's widow has said recently she does not believe her husband's death had anything to do with match-fixing, but Rice is not so sure.

"It got all covered up," Rice said. "On the same day (as Woolmer's death) Pakistan had just lost to Ireland in the World Cup, and you say 'well, had Bob found something out' because clearly if it's carrying on now and it was going on then ... Had he found something out? I'm pretty sure he had."

Rice said he thought Woolmer was "taken out" because he was about to reveal details of corruption in cricket. He feels the same way about disgraced former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje.

Cronje admitted forecasting results and was banned for life in 2000, then died in a plane crash two years later.

South Africa's High Court ruled the cause of the crash was error on the part of the two pilots, who were also killed, but again, Rice raised doubts over the verdict.

"Hansie, what did he know?" Rice said Thursday. "Was he going to reveal, maybe in a book, the truth behind what was involved?"

When asked if he felt the deaths of Woolmer and Cronje were linked to match-fixing, Rice said "Absolutely."

"I'll question those deaths until the day I die because I don't believe the truth has come out."


  • ID - 2010-09-09 19:11

    Rice...Crawl back in to your hole and stay there!!

  • Joe - 2010-09-09 19:15

    We might not agree with Rice's conspiracy theories but I know I am fed up with Cricket and its continued association with match fixing. I findd myself caring less about what happens in a sport I had ranked as my favourite by a huge margin.

  • Michael Bowery - 2010-09-09 19:20

    Go for it Ricey - There's none so blind as those who will not see! Whenever big money gets into sport there's filth.

  • Deon - 2010-09-09 19:40

    ID you do the same

  • harold 20 kent ave - 2010-09-09 19:54

    hi clive sorry cricket died the day kerry packer and tony greig entered the is a game / sport. get money out of the game and it will rise from the ashes. why did hayward kidson walk away from the game ? we saw the best , we played against the best . sorry it's finished !!

  • darkwing - 2010-09-09 19:56

    Joe, I agree with you. The advent of the shortened version of the game has precipitated all of these evils. Just play proper cricket, the so-called boring 5 day stuff and you won't have this. But then, who has the attention span these days to follow the intrigues of true cricket?

  • Kevin Sting - 2010-09-09 20:11

    I agree with Deon 100%

  • John B - 2010-09-09 20:30

    Ricey is right. Cricket is dying. What is scarery is what is still to come out of the woodwork!

  • Michael Bowery - 2010-09-09 20:51

    Well look at that, suddenly ID crawled out its hole and put seven words together signifying ignorance is still out there. Dont hide behind the ID if you've got something meaningful to say put a name to it or crawl back in your own hole.

  • Swannie - 2010-09-09 20:57

    I respect a lot of people, but foremost: Clive Rice, for being and doing... Please cure this disease in all our sport

  • Swannie - 2010-09-09 21:02

    Do I have to say it all over again. Clive Rice is my hero, do what needs to be done.

  • sakkiedekok - 2010-09-09 21:36

    the rant of an old man. as much as i respect mr rice this is complete conspiracy shite talked about in the 19th tee and bowls clubs the country over. get over it

  • Len - 2010-09-10 01:06

    Thnx Rice. At least someone man enough. Might be a theory, but where theres smoke, theres fire. Someone open an enquiry into HC and BW deaths.

  • Happybloke - 2010-09-10 01:26

    What is your problem Ricey is standing up for the game so give him the support he needs.

  • Red - 2010-09-10 07:07

    Let me tell you guys, -Putting what we've recently learned about cricket into rugby, soccer, boxing?? then its easy to see why weve all experienced that ref whos blown against us cos we could just feel it. Its not only cricket!! Other sports are manipulated by officials. These recent inconsistencies with spear tackle bans in the t3. Our boys get longer bans for less dangerous spear tackles??? Years of feeling the Dickinsons, Steve walshes of the world and O'brians(red carding our no5 for late charge on Wilkinson(22 kick clearance) in that grandslam tour 2001or2 ish? -cheat!) Ferraris favourable treatment in F1. In fact!, Why are we judging cricket so venomously when top atheletics, cycling, are the most filthy out there. Its all cheating. We pretend its possible that our favourite hooker or prop(for eg) has put on 20kg of muscle in the off season. Many boxers have been taking "falls" for as long as boxings been around. Politics is the same. Economics and business and marriage! Its not ALL rotten, just portions of each.

  • Jess - 2010-09-10 09:19

    It's not a conspiracy theory, the team slowly started falling apart after Hansies death, there are people involved which will shock you. Having a price on the heads of you and your famil, anyone will hush things up, even our cricket team of the day. Not one of them could live with hat they know is the truth, covering up for those in the higher positions. How do I knw this? Let's just say, I was there & I was close to the team

  • pages:
  • 1