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'Deliberate campaign to malign Indian cricket'

Last updated on: October 24, 2010 22:47 IST

They tried their best to malign the highly-popular Indian Premier League (IPL) time and again by leveling charges of corruption and when that didn't that work they are now targeting the Indian players individually.

In their latest campaign to target Indian cricket, the western media blamed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for not taking any action against youngster Suresh Raina, who was seen in the company of a woman, who is apparently being linked to an associate of an illegal bookmaker, during their tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year.

But the story was denied by the player outright, a source close to the player said, adding that even the newspaper report states that "Raina is not suspected of any wrongdoing".

"Raina is very upset at these baseless reports but he is confident that this is a deliberate campaign to malign the Indian cricket and their players. The woman in picture is his agent. She also handles a few Sri Lankan players and the BCCI already knew that his agent was in the hotel to sign a few contracts," the source told

Suresh Raina"This is a planned campaign by the western media because India is dominating world cricket in every way," the source added.

India is top of the ICC Test rankings and at second place in the ODI rankings behind Australia, whom they recently whitewashed in both the Tests and ODI series.

Earlier on Sunday, London-based newspaper The Sunday Times said the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit is probing as to why the BCCI kept quiet about a report of its player, Raina, being seen in the company of a woman linked to an associate of an illegal bookmaker.

Making it clear that Raina is not suspected of any wrongdoing, The Sunday Times, quoting a senior ICC source, said the incident is related to India's tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year.

With the heightened security concerns following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan, the Lankans had deputed a former general to look after the Indian team.

The CCTV cameras installed at the Indian team hotel showed that on more than one night, Raina was in the company of a woman known to be an associate of a man allegedly linked to a bookmaker.

A report, including the CCTV footage, was submitted by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board to their Indian counterparts.

According to the newspaper report, it is the reaction of BCCI secretary N Srinivasan that has led to the ICC investigation. Instead of acting on the report, Srinivasan is alleged to have got the Sri Lankans to withdraw it.

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But even the BCCI came down hard on the baseless report, saying there was no report received from Sri Lanka.

"The BCCI has just learnt that several media outlets are claiming that Sri Lanka Cricket had submitted a report on Raina to it, and that no action was taken by the Board on the same. The BCCI would like to clarify that it has received no such report from SLC. The claims being made by a section of the media are totally baseless and false."

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