Shocked at the detention of Rajasthan Royals players S. Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila by the Delhi Police, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N. Srinivasan said the unpleasant news came like a bolt from the blue.
He said, “I am shocked. The sport is clean and we [BCCI] are running it clean, but one or two bad eggs here and there cannot sully the entire game. We will see whatever necessary is to be done and we will do it. The BCCI has an anti-corruption code and anti-doping code. We have advised all State units to take sufficient steps [to educate players]. Here as we see the people involved are Ranji Trophy players and one of them [Sreesanth] is a Test player. That’s what is shocking.”
Mr. Srinivasan was addressing journalists at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai through video-conference from Kodaikanal after the IPL governing council suspended the three players from taking part in the IPL-6.
“We are shocked that such a thing can happen in spite of all facilities and remuneration being given to cricketers. That really is the sad part. The BCCI will not hesitate to take the strictest action against any player or against anybody who is found indulging in such corrupt practices,” he said.
Mr. Srinivasan recalled the swift action taken by the BCCI last year against a group of players after a sting operation carried out by a television channel and the investigation thereafter by the BCCI confirmed spot-fixing related incidents in domestic tournaments. “Every year the IPL is monitored by the anti-corruption and security unit [ACSU] of the ICC. We are really surprised that such a thing has taken place. We will extend all cooperation to the police and other agencies as and when they want some information from us.”
Asked whether the ACSU has failed in its duty, he said: “The BCCI has engaged the services of the ACSU for the IPL. It has also set up its own anti-corruption unit (ACU). It’s difficult for us to police the entire country. We have given the job to the ACSU and I have no reason to believe that they are not doing a good job. When such instances come up, the police have taken action and we will wait for more details. Rajasthan Royals have also issued a statement that they have zero tolerance for such incidents. We are very glad to see that. The head of the ACU will investigate and give a report, and based on this report, the players would be given an opportunity and then it [BCCI] will take a view as to what should be done based upon evidence. Keeping in mind that natural justice has to be maintained, we will take action as per our rules and disciplinary procedures.”
“Game is not corrupt”
Mr. Srinivasan denied that the IPL has become untenable. “The entire game is not corrupt. I also do not agree that the IPL cannot continue. There have been so many instances in the history of cricket where such actions have taken place and people have committed mistakes. It does not mean that the game of cricket should be stopped. We will take all steps to root out corruption and we will give the strictest and severest punishment. But I do not agree to a sweeping statement that the IPL is untenable. One cannot presume that this will happen all the time. We cannot target everybody with a broad brush. That’s not fair at all.”