Shocked by the match- fixing allegations against him, the former Indian player Dinesh Mongia has clearly denied fixing allegations, levelled against him, by the former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent, during the unsanctioned, and now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL). Mongia was in fact suspended by ICL during their 2008 edition, due to disciplinary reasons which were not disclosed.
“What Vincent said is incorrect. I was not involved in any match-fixing. I played for the Chandigarh Lions but I don’t know what the New Zealanders (Cairns, Tuffey and Vincent) were doing,” Mongia told reporters when contacted in Chandigarh.
Earlier, the tainted New Zealand cricketer Vincent told a London courtroom that Mongia was one of the key members of a “Gang of four” that fixed matches during the unsanctioned, and now defunct ICL. The 36-year-old Vincent spoke at the Chris Cairns’ perjury trial where he admitted that while playing for Chandigarh Lions in the ICL, he took part in match-fixing on the senior cricketer’s insistence. Vincent took the names of New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Tuffey, as well as former India batsman Mongia during the trial. He said that he had been suffering from mental health problems and depression at the time and “felt good to be part of a gang”.
The 38-year-old Mongia played 57 ODIs and 1 T20 International for India in his six-year international career, with his most notable achievement being a member of the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup team. Mongia’s selection for the 2003 World Cup in South Africa was a hugely controversial. The selection invited widespread criticism since he was picked in the side ahead of the much more accomplished and stylish VVS Laxman. Ironically, Laxman never got to play for India in the World Cups.
The Punjab left-hander then slipped out of the radar as he did not get amnesty by the BCCI, when other players came back into the fold.