Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Flemming admitted the spot fixing incident has overshadowed the quality of cricket played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year and hoped the coming three games this week will bring the focus back on sport.
“The standard of IPL in cricket and games has, I thought, been excellent. And of course this (spot fixing) is going to overshadow any of the play that’s going on. We’ve got one week now to hopefully get three more great games and in some way that hopefully will push aside some of the events,” Flemming told reporters on the eve of first play-off against Mumbai Indians here.
“We still want the IPL to finish off on a good cricket note. Certainly, from a CSK point of view that would be great.”
Flemming said despite players coming under sharp scrutiny after the incident, they have been able to focus on their game.
“It’s only under suspicion from outside and in some way you need a sense of naivety around. You got to, I guess, keep it in isolation and only concentrate on being the best we can be. And CSK have been very good this year. To motivate the players to win another IPL, with a big semifinal against Mumbai, that’s our main focus. Everything else is speculated on outside of the game, from news channels and experts. Then so be it,” he said.
“We are trying to let nothing else creep into the dressing room.”
Flemming said even though the team lost to Mumbai in league stages, they were confident of making it to the final. “Chennai-Mumbai game makes the mouth water. We came close last year. We just came up short against a great performance by Kolkata. But certainly the advantage of playing well tomorrow and having two or three days off at this point of the tournament is very appealing. So, we would love to win tomorrow, book our place in the final and then work out a good programme.
“They’re a team that has beaten us probably more than anyone else. But does it count for anything on the day? I don’t think so,” he said.
Mumbai Indian captain Rohit Sharma felt two wins in the league stage against Super Kings give the edge. "They are a very good side. But we have been playing consistently. If we stick to our plans we can beat them again," he said.