The game of cricket is too good to be spoilt and it is actually time to weed out some “bad” players from the sport,says Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar whose team is aiming to file the charge sheet in the IPL spot-fixing scandal before he hangs his boots end of next month.
59-year-old Kumar,who has been engaged in several high profile cases in his career spanning over three decades,feels that the spot-fixing scandal was a murder of faith of millions of cricket lovers.
“After this case surfaced I actually started getting into the history of this game and came across what Australian captain Bill Woodfull told English Team Manager Pelham Warner in 1932 when bodyline attack was the order of the day between the two arch rivals.
“This game is too good to be spoilt. It’s time some people got out of it,” Kumar quoted Woodfull and added,”similarly,I echo the same view that the game is too good to be spoilt and it is actually time to weed out some bad players from the game.”
The Police Commissioner said that cricket was known as “gentleman’s game” but it is no longer the same. “The spot- fixing scandal will remain fresh in the memory of people as they will not be able to get over the cheating they had to face at the hands of some of the cricketers,” he said.
“I am afraid that love associated with the game may go forever as the sweet gestures of players may now be viewed with suspicion by people,” he said.
And when asked about the criticism about application of stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case,Kumar feels that it was a decision taken rightly after consulting legal experts.
“What is the fuss all about? I am not here for any media trial. My case will be judged by the courts where we will present our entire evidence.
“Here,bookies are negotiating rates with underworld people sitting in Dubai and Pakistan…Is this not an organised crime?” he asked.
To a question whether some more cricketers are on the radar of the Delhi Police in connection with the spot-fixing in the IPL,Kumar said,”there are some names and we are waiting for more evidence before we nab them.”
He,however,refused to indicate whether the players under scanner were fancied ones or unknown ones.
“If anyone is on the wrong side of the law,he has to face the music,” the Delhi Police chief said.
Known for his no-nonsense professional approach,Kumar,who unearthed the UTI scam leading to arrest of its Chairman P S Subramanyam,said,”even mighty people have to bow before the law of the land.”
“So no matter how high and mighty are involved in the case,Delhi Police will ensure that every crook is brought before law and every evidence is placed before the court.”
The Police Commissioner,who solved the 2002 American Center shooting incident at Kolkata within three weeks and secured deportation from the Gulf of main accused in the case Aftab Ansari,said,”Before I demit my office,we will try and charge sheet all the accused in the case…”
Kumar is due to retire on July 31 after serving in various capacities in Delhi Police and CBI for 37 years.
And about any role of Rajasthan Royals’ owner Raj Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty in the spot-fixing scam,the Delhi Police chief said,”there is evidence that they used to bet and they needed to be questioned. We have done that with Raj and if required,we will call his wife too.”
Kumar also said that the Special Cell of Delhi Police has done a wonderful job,but many a times his team had to face unnecessary criticism in media.
“Media is the fourth pillar of our democracy and we,in Delhi Police,respect it. But at the same time,it should refrain from printing or airing reports which are nothing more than the figment of imagination of the reporter.”