Shocked and saddened over the spot-fixing scandal involving pacer S Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals' players, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president Anurag Thakur on Friday said strict action would be taken against the tainted trio if found guilty.
Thakur, who also hold the post of joint secretary in the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), said the fixing scandal had brought shame to the game.
“We are waiting for the Delhi police to provide us the evidences. We will study the evidences thoroughly and then take a decision,” Thakur said, adding that it was very unfortunate that some players still indulged in this despite the fact that BCCI gives them best conditions and financial package.
Thakur said as of now the three stands suspended. Action would be taken by BCCI's disciplinary committee after a thorough probe and when the preliminary report is submitted.
He said, “The BCCI has zero tolerance towards corruption and those acting against the spirit of the game for which the board has hired anti-corruption unit of International Cricket Council (ICC) to monitor all matches of the domestic league. Speaking on the possible action, Thakur said it depends upon the nature of crime.
“I cannot say anything about the action to be taken till we go through the evidences as it is very necessary. It will depend upon the nature of crime,” said Thakur.
Referring to a similar kind of episode last season, Thakur said when BCCI probed an incident of spot-fixing, the actual evidences differed from those provided by a private Hindi channel that had conducted the sting operation.
Thakur also expressed need for changes in the law to deal with such crime saying Section 420 of the IPC under which the players have been booked does not provide harsh punishment for the offence.
Lashing out at some former Indian players who demanded the closure of the cash-rich Indian domestic league alleging that black money is being invested into the event, Thakur said, “Only those people who have grudges with BCCI officials give such statements.”
T-20 charity match on May 20
HPCA president Anurag Thakur on Friday said the T-20 charity match between MP-XI and Mumbai Heroes will be played at Dharamsala stadium on May 20.
Film stars, including Suniel Shetty, who is captain of Mumbai Heroes, Sohail Khan, Bobby Deol, Ritesh Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani and Yash Tonk will be coming for the match along with team owner Salman Khan. Besides, MPs Rajeev Pratap Ruddy, Mohammed Azharuddin and Rajeev Shukla will also come for the match. The match will be telecasted live on DD Sports, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha channels. Thakur said the event would be made an annual affair. The match would be played at Dharamsala in summers and while in winters Delhi would be the venue.
State govt free to conduct probe into HPCA affairs
Commenting on the inquiry initiated by the present state government into the HPCA's five-star residential complex for alleged irregularities, Thakur said the government was free to conduct any probe. “We have done nothing wrong. Our only crime is that we promote cricket in the small state and brought Dharamsala on the international map,” said Thakur.
On the facilities being extended by the government to conduct the T-20 matches in Dharamsala, Thakur said, “He doesn't expect much and only wants the state should have better road and air connectivity.”
Taking on the state government, Thakur said, “The thinking of the present government differs from previous one which had extended all possible help to organise the event. Even though the Indian domestic league has boosted tourism in the region, the present government doesn't seem to be interested in holding the event successfully.”