NEW DELHI: Batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar called cricket’s betting and spot-fixing scandal ‘shocking and disappointing’, becoming India’s first big-name player to speak out on the issue.
“The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing,” Tendulkar said in a statement. “It has always hurt me when the game of cricket is in the news for the wrong reasons.
“As cricketers we are always taught to go out, fight hard, give our very best and play in the true spirit of the game.”
Indian cricket has been in turmoil after police arrested three players, including Test paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, accusing them of deliberately bowling badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars during the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).
N Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is also under pressure to quit after his son-in-law was arrested for allegedly betting on IPL matches.
“During this difficult phase, I join every cricketer, from the boys and girls in the grounds across the country to those who represent clubs, states and the country, who trust the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue,” said Tendulkar, 40. “The faith reposed by the millions of fans should be justified and we owe it to them to ensure that Indian cricket is all about pride and joy.”
Top BCCI officials resign, bowler turns witness
Two top officials of the Indian cricket board quit over an escalating spot-fixing scandal, reports said.
Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, and treasurer Ajay Shirke submitted their resignations to the board president, the NDTV news network and other channels said.
“I don’t want to give any reason, I have sent my resignation to the BCCI president,” Jagdale was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The resignations of Jagdale, the number two in the board hierarchy, and Shirke were likely to pile on more pressure on Srinivasan.
In another development, a bowler has turned witness for police probing the spot-fixing scandal and his evidence could be used in a case against his teammates, an officer said.
Paceman Siddharth Trivedi has recorded testimony for police who are trying to link bookmakers to three of his teammates arrested as part of the corruption probe into the Indian Premier League (IPL), the unnamed officer said.
“His statement is important because he has told us he has information on some of the bookies arrested by us,” a police officer, who is part of the investigating team, told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Trivedi’s statements will be admissible as evidence in the court. It will definitely make our case stronger,” said the Special Cell officer.
Local media reports also said uncapped Trivedi, who also plays for the Rajasthan Royals, had turned down an invitation by Chandila to attend a party allegedly arranged by bookies.
“He had also refused money and gifts offered by the bookies,” the Press Trust of India news agency said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2013.