The spot-fixing scandal might only be the latest of many events that have stained the IPLs reputation,but BCCI president N Srinivasan says that it would be wrong to target the T20 league for the actions of a few rotten apples. In an interview with The Indian Express,Srinivasan also promised that the BCCI would cooperate with the police in their investigation,and take the strictest action if the three players Sreesanth,Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan are found guilty. Excerpts:
Yesterday,at the press conference,you said that the BCCI would deal with the culprits in the strictest terms. What measures are you going to take?
We have acted on suspicion. We have suspended the accused pending inquiry. What more can we do at the moment?
But shouldnt there be a message from the Board that they are ready to crack the whip?
In our country,the law says you are innocent until proven guilty. Police have arrested the players on suspicion. Now its up to them to prove the allegations. We havent received the copy of the charges against the players yet. What we can say is that we will fully cooperate with police in their investigation.
What is your take on the Delhi polices allegations?
Sreesanths lawyer is saying that the player is innocent. (Ajit) Chandilas lawyer is saying that his client has been framed. So,there are two sides of the story. We have to wait. If theyre guilty,the BCCI will take the strictest action.
Then,do you think that police have reacted in haste?
I wont comment on the functioning of the police forces. They are running an investigation and we have to see what is the end result. I think the media,especially the electronic media,has jumped the gun a bit.
So many controversies…Do you agree that the IPL is fast losing its credibility?
The tournament is in its sixth year and has managed to catch the imagination of the fans and players. The contests are exciting and intense. So,it would be wrong to target the IPL. Its a case of a few rotten apples. If a few individuals transgress then they will be dealt with. But just a few thuggish examples dont a paradigm make.
Questions have been raised about the ownerships and funding. There appears to be very little transparency. Any chance that the BCCI will ask the owners to put all their financial dealings on public domains?
We have called an emergency working committee meeting on Sunday. I cannot tell you at the moment what we will discuss. But we intend to cover every angle. We will do whatever it is necessary to make the game free of corruption. Whatever we decide you will be informed through a press conference.
The BCCI is being accused of not being very vigilant. Also,does the Board have a specific programme to educate the young players?
The BCCI is vigilant. We have been working in tandem with the ICC to eradicate corruption. And we are always trying to educate young cricketers about the perils of falling into the trap. We hold seminars and classes. Theres a standing instruction to every franchise in the IPL to keep a close watch on the (suspicious) activities and constantly remind their cricketers about the perils of match-fixing and spot-fixing. But now that this has happened we will react.