Nairobi: Former Kenyan captain Maurice Odumbe faces a possible life ban if found guilty of charges of match-fixing. A former Zimbabwean high court judge who is conducting the enquiry on behalf of the ICC has fixed July 27 for the ruling. 'Inappropriate contact'Odumbe has been charged with having inappropriate contact with an Indian bookmaker Jagdish Sodhi.However Odumbe's lawyer says his client is not guilty because there is a big difference in taking money from a bookmaker and throwing away a match."The allegations have been misreported in the media up to now. They talk about match fixing - Maurice is not charged with match-fixing - he is charged with inappropriate contact with a bookmaker. But he has not been charged of fixing any match - of bribing anybody, not even of giving information of pitch conditions or anything of that sort," said his lawyer Ishan Kapila. 'Business dealings'Odumbe, who has played 61 one day internationals for Kenya and captained the team as well, says he had business dealings with Sodhi on his frequent visits to India in connection with his brother's treatment for Aids. However he insists that he was not aware that Sodhi was a known bookmaker."Maurice has had business dealings with a gentleman from India. It is alleged that that gentleman is a known bookmaker. Maurice has no knowledge whatsoever of whether that is the sideline of that gentleman or not - but that is what has been alleged against him," said his lawyer.Violating code of conductHowever, according to the ICC's code of conduct, players having links with known bookmakers is still an act that brings the game into disrepute. If found guilty, Odumbe faces a minimum ban of two years. That could well be a body blow for Kenyan cricket as well. Odumbe was a central part of the team that beat West Indies in the world cup in 1996 and which managed to defy all odds in reaching the World Cup semi-finals in 2003.
Topics : Cricket