Former India opener Virender Sehwag has expressed his concern over the menace of corruption and doping in cricket, calling on both the players and administrators to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the game clean in every aspect.
Delivering the ‘MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture’ at the annual BCCI awards here on Sunday, Sehwag said the players should never ignore a corrupt approach.
“If you love this game, then you should not go on that path. If you go to that path, it means you don’t love this game, that means you are only playing for money,” Sehwag said.
“If you play well, money will follow. So don’t go (that path). If somebody contacts you, please tell BCCI and the ICC, that is important. If you ignore, he will go to somebody else and that somebody else might do stupid things. Make sure, that you inform,” he added.
Last year top Bangladesh player Shakib Al Hasan was banned for two years, one year suspended, after failing to report a corrupt approach by a suspected Indian bookie, sending down shock waves in the cricket community.
Speaking about doping, Sehwag stressed on the need for greater awareness after a top-performing young player like Prithvi Shaw served an eight-month ban for failing a dope test.
“I can understand a lot of cricketers are doing fitness (regimens), having lot of shakes but I don’t think that you can have anything and build your muscles, which can help you to perform in batting or bowling,” he said.
“So please keep yourself available for anti-doping (tests). We have seen a couple of young cricketers banned by BCCI for having banned substances. It’s the BCCI’s responsibility also to ensure that awareness starts from the under-16 and under-19 levels,” he added.