It's virtually impossible to safeguard against corruption in cricket.This statement from Matthew Hayden might smack of cynicism, but the former Australian opener has strong logic to back it up. Excerpts from an interview:
What do you make of the fixing scandal unfolding in England?
I am surprised and a little shocked to see cricket and cricketers brought to attention in the media for the wrong reasons. We play a great game, and as players we are honoured to uphold its integrity as a product.
How vulnerable are T20 tournaments like the IPL and the CLT20 to this menace? Are there enough safeguards in place?
I believe it’s virtually impossible to safeguard against corruption in any format of the game. The investment the game places in protection strategies to mitigate against corruption is minuscule compared to the vast geographic areas the game is played in and the level of illegal gambling activity. It really is a runaway train.
Is there no way to counter it?
Ultimately, the best solution is for each and every player and administrator to show great vigilance to defy corruption by making a choice to uphold integrity and choose sportsmanship over gambling.
Coming to the Champions League, will you continue to use the mongoose bat?
I believe that there may be an opportunity to use the short blade Mongoose bat during the Champions League. Innovative products add excitement and discussion and therefore interest to our great game.
Age is catching up with players like you, Gilchrist, Kumble … How do you keep yourself fit and motivated enough to keep competing with the younger lot?
The older you get, the smarter you get. It saves you time and energy, two key resources for an athlete. No longer do you wonder if you can achieve, but rather your attention moves on beyond just your own form. What matters to me, apart from winning, is how I can help others reach their potential. Also, I like imagining how I can add value back to the sport that has given me satisfaction and joy.
How many more years you give yourself on the field? Would you be willing to enter the fray for the upcoming IPL auctions?
I consider playing cricket pure joy and as long as I enjoy the game I will continue to play. That means that I will want to play for CSK for a few more years and hopefully win a few more titles.
How do you rate the chances of IPL teams in South African conditions?
I think that being away from India will provide some challenges to the IPL teams.However, I believe the CSK team is good enough and experienced enough to give it a real shot. The Super Kings have a wealth of experience and in-form international talent which will serve us well in this tournament.