Mumbai: The spot-fixing menace has rocked Indian cricket once again. India have already suffered a lot in the past due to these scandals in the last couple of decades. At the start of the millennium, India had to ban the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja for their involvement in spot-fixing. In 2013, the BCCI had to ban three Rajasthan Royals players – Ajit Chandila, S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan – for the same offence.
Spot-fixing has now once again reared its ugly head. This time the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) has landed in hot waters. There are reports of several players and even umpires being involved in malicious activities. The BCCI has already started investigating the matter. The latest turn of events have once again sparked the debate over whether the cricketers are most prone to be approached by bookies.
Well, BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit’s (ACU) chief Ajit Singh believes otherwise. Singh believes that the bookies or fixers would never waste their time in trying to approach top stars like MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli. He said that the bookies mostly target the younger players or the less successful ones who get lured because of the money.
“If you ask me, today in cricket, a star has much more to lose than gain if he gets involved in this. Imagine a Virat Kohli or Dhoni getting into this. Things don’t just move by money, it is also the reputation that counts. They can’t sacrifice their reputation for such things. They are far bigger than all this,” Singh said.
“Even if you are talking just in financial terms, do you think they will get involved both in terms of the endorsement that they get because of their reputation and star power, as also the other benefits that they get. Betting wouldn’t give them a small percentage of that money,” he explained.
Singh further explained what the bookies and fixers do when they fail to get into any big tournament. The ACU chief revealed that the bookies start their own league and also explore other countries for opportunities. He also said that the BCCI has been successful in curbing the menace to some extent by forcing the bookies to look for other options.
“These people (fixers and bookies) are looking at whatever opportunities they can get. If they can’t get into any tournament, they start their own leagues. They are now moving to new countries and in the name of promoting the sport, they organize tournaments and get teams. They pretend to be working for the game,” he said.
“Look, the thing is, it is getting difficult for them and so they have to find different ways and means as they can’t carry on their business in traditional cricket. This has seen them organize leagues outside,” he added.