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IPL will not suffer, asserts BCCI chief

Mumbai, May 16, 2013, (PTI):

CORRUPTION HURTS CRICKET'S HEART

BCCI President N Srinivasan. PTI Image

The spot-fix scandal that rocked the ongoing Indian Premier League following the arrest of pacer S Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals players has come as “a bolt from the blue”, BCCI president N Srinivasan said on Thursday, assuring strictest possible action against the cheats.

“I don’t know about others, but I was shocked. It was a bolt from the blue. The BCCI is shocked that this has happened because we never expected this,” the Board chief told reporters here from Kodaikanal via a video conference.

Sreesanth and two of his Royals team-mates - Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - were arrested early on Wednesday morning on charges of spot-fixing. A special cell of the Delhi police arrested Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan after their team’s IPL match against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.

“Here as you see the people involved are Ranji Trophy players and one of them is a Test player. That is what is shocking,” the Board chief said. Srinivasan brushed aside criticism in some quarters that the cash-rich IPL was primed for such a scandal and said “I don’t subscribe to the view that it’s not surprising”.

The Board chief assured the cricket fans that the “strictest possible action” would be taken against the trio who have been charged with spot-fixing by the Delhi police - if they are found guilty. “We will do whatever is necessary. The sport is clean and we are running it clean. We have taken all the steps (to keep it clean). One or two bad eggs here and there cannot sully the entire game,” he said.

“We have taken a lot of time and energy to educate the players and have set up our own anti-corruption unit to keep the game clean. We will not hesitate to take the strictest action against anybody who is found indulging in such corrupt practices,” he added.

“The governing council of IPL has already taken a decision to suspend these three players. We are saddened because last year there was an incident and the BCCI acted swiftly and strictly,” Srinivasan pointed out.

The BCCI chief rued that in spite of the hefty compensation that the players are getting now, some of them are indulging in corrupt practices because of “greed”.
“Indian players are paid extremely well. I don’t think it is a case of players not having enough money. You can call it greed and not a question of inadequate compensation.”

Saying the Board will have to re-examine what more can be done to stop players from indulging in corruption, Srinivasan referred to last year’s incident when five domestic cricketers were banned for spot-fixing and was surprised it had not acted as a deterrent.

“We will take whatever steps are necessary to convince people to understand that this is a very serious matter and can get them into a lot of trouble. We will examine all possible approaches to this problem,” Srinivasan said. “We will definitely re-examine to see what further regulations can be done and whether we need to take more steps,” he added.

Srinivasan dismissed suggestions that the future of the cash-rich T20 tournament looked in doubt now. “There is a lot of work for us to do. We will not leave any stone unturned. But I do not subscribe (to the view) that IPL is untenable. As far as these three players are concerned and keeping in mind natural justice has to be preserved, we will take action as per our rules and our own disciplinary procedures. We, as BCCI, need to examine the scene objectively, what else we can do and demonstrate that this kind of action does not pay,” he said.


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