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I disappointed ICC to help with investigations i shocked BCCI promises IPL isn't untenable

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:May 17, 2013 3:45 am

The International Cricket Council said Thursday that it will provide complete support to the BCCI and Delhi police in the investigation into the arrest of three Rajasthan Royals cricketers for their alleged role in IPL spot-fixing.

“We will provide full support. The BCCI’s decision to suspend its three cricketers on corruption charges is a clear indicator of the ICC and its members’ zero-tolerance approach,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said.

Richardson said the ICC has undertaken measures to impose strong penalties on those found to be guilty. He,however,claimed that he was extremely disappointed that despite the steps taken by the parent board,it was sad to see players who give in to such temptations.

“The ICC has taken measures to tighten vigilance,strengthen our anti-corruption codes and increase player education programmes as well as offering strict penalties to those found guilty of illegal conduct. As such,it is disappointing to see that despite the extensive education programmes delivered by the ICC and the BCCI,there still appears to be some players who remain vulnerable to temptations,” added the former South Africa wicketkeeper.

Unexpected

While the ICC’s stance on the matter was that of disappointment,BCCI’s take on the scandal — in a message delivered to the media by its president N Srinivasan — was that of shock. “I don’t know about the 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 from Kodaikanal via a video conference. “Here as you see the people involved are Ranji Trophy players and one of them is a Test player. That is what is shocking.”

While Sreesanth was picked up from Carter Road in Bandra,Mumbai,Chavan and Chandila were taken into custody from the team hotel at Nariman Point following their match against the Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.

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.” Srinivasan also 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.

‘Bad eggs’

“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 that way. One or two bad eggs here and there cannot sully the entire game,” he said. The arrested cricketers and the bookies have been charged under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and were flown to Delhi for further questioning.

“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,” Srinivasan added,shooting down theories that the players involved in the scandal were those who weren’t paid well enough by the league. For just last year,five domestic cricketers were banned after a TV channel carried out a sting operation and exposed their intent to spot fix. “We thought when we made an example last year,we thought the message was clear and people would not do anything like this,” he said.

The board president also threw some light on the anti-corruption measures the board had taken to keep the league clean. “We have involved the ICC’s Anti corruption unit. We have our own anti corruption unit and cannot take a broad brush and tarnish everyone.”

But Srinivasan was quick to end his speech on a positive note. “We will not lose faith. The efforts that we are taking,particularly the action that we are taking against these players,would be sufficient deterrent for anybody to try and do it in the future,” he stated. “There is a lot of work for us to do and we will not leave any stone unturned. But I do not subscribe to the view that IPL is untenable.”

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