John the bookmaker controversy

John The Bookmaker Controversy

John the bookmaker controversy

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"John" or "John the bookmaker" is the name given to an Indian bookmaker who in 1994–95 gave money to Australian cricketers Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, in return for pitch and weather information. However, according to the players, they refused to divulge more strategic material, such as team tactics and player selection policies. One of the most publicised of a series of betting controversies in cricket in the 1990s, the matter was initially covered up by the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), which decided that it was sufficient to privately fine the players. The ACB concluded that, since Waugh and Warne had previously accused Pakistani cricket captain Saleem Malik of attempting to bribe them to lose matches, their credibility as witnesses would be damaged if their own involvement with John was publicised. The ACB reported the matter to the International Cricket Council, and there the matter ended.

When the issue was uncovered by the media in late-1998, the two players were widely condemned by the press and public, as was the ACB for their cover-up. Waugh received a hostile reaction from the Australian public when he walked out to bat during a Test match immediately after the news broke. On the other hand, the sports community was generally supportive of the players. The ACB appointed Rob O'Regan QC to conduct an independent inquiry into the matter. O'Regan concluded that the fines were inadequate and wrote that a suspension for a "significant...
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