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Mumbai rave party raid: IPL stars Sharma and Parnell deny any wrongdoing.

Mumbai, May 21 ( ANI ): Indian Premier League cricketers Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell on Monday denied any wrondoing in connection with a police raid on a rave party at a hotel in Mumbai late on Sunday.

Speaking to television channels separately, both Sharma and Parnell, who represent the Pune Warriors in the IPL, claimed theri innocence, with Sharma saying that he would quit playing cricket at any level if he was found guilty of any wrongdoing.

"I know I am innocent, if the reports (of blood tests) are positive, I will leave cricket," Sharma said, adding that he had the team management's full backing.

The player's blood test report is expected over the next couple of days.

"Those who know me, including my teammates, know that I have never touched champagne after victories. It's a big thing," Sharma said.

He said that he was not even present at the rave party at the Mumbai hotel, and had gone to attend a birthday celebration.

"I was invited to a birthday party. Wayne Parnell was with me, I did not know that there was a rave party at the hotel," said the leg-spinner.

"We reached there at around 7 in the evening, and all of a sudden, within half an hour of us reaching there, the police raid happened. We didn't know what was happening, I asked the police officers and they told me that a raid was in progress," Sharma said.

Sharma said he would extend all cooperation to the police during their investigation, and added that everything would be clear after the medical reports are out.

South African cricketer Wayne Parnell said both Sharma and he were "at the wrong place at the wrong time".

He admitted that both players were present in the party at the Oakwood Premier Hotel, but added that they were unaware of any drugs being supplied there.

"Myself and Rahul were invited to someone's birthday. We got there about 5 p.m. in the afternoon and by 7 p.m., the police officers were there. Obviously, once we were inside, we got caught indoors," he said.

"It is unfortunate we were there. But at the end of the day, it was just a simple case of being at a wrong place at the wrong time.We weren't aware of any drugs there or any rave party. It was out on a pool terrace," he told 'Times Now'.

Parnell said both he and Rahul are teetotalers.

"Because the IPL has finished and all our matches are over, it was the last day to get together. It is unfortunate that this has happened," he said.

The South African left-arm pacer said as he was not guilty, he preferred to show his face during his arrest.

"I wanna fully co-operate with the investigation. That's why last night I did not cover my face, which would have meant I am guilty," Parnell said.

Parnell also said that he enjoys the full backing of his countrymen and IPL team Pune Warriors in this hour of crisis.

arnell and Rahul along with 94 others were detained during a raid on a rave party Sunday night, but were let off on Monday after collection of their blood and urine samples. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:May 21, 2012
Words:554
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