The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to ban T20 matches following the spot-fixing scandal, saying just because of certain irregularities on the part of a few players the entire league can’t be stopped.
"Can we ban legal profession just because few lawyers commit wrong things? This is not a case where court should interfere to ban T20," a bench of justice BS Chauhan and justice Deepak Misra said refusing to ban T20 quarter, eliminator and final matches.
The bench, however, pulled up the country’s apex cricket body - BCCI - for irregularities in T20.
"The problem is lackadaisical approach of BCCI and it must stop," the bench said, adding, "Let cricket remain a gentleman's game and not tainted by irregularities and scams."
BCCI admitted that there had been irregularities and it had set up one-member committee to look into the issue.
"The Board is taking steps to prevent such incidents in future," senior counsel Ranjit Kumar told the bench on behalf of the Board.
Lucknow resident Sudarsh Awasthi had petitioned the SC seeking stay on all remaining matches of T20 in view of the spot-fixing scandal.
Awasthi had made all T20 franchises and BCCI party in the case along with the Centre. He had sought a stay on remaining four matches including final match of the T20 till the probe is completed.
The court directed the one-man commission appointed by the BCCI to submit its report within 15 days to cricket body. It also asked the board to take appropriate action against the players found indulging in such activities.
"A team of anti-corruption unit should accompany each team so that any aberration be detected and the problem nipped in the bud," it said.
The bench said BCCI must conduct a scientific, rational, dispassionate approach inquiry to ensure that no guilty player got scot free by taking "subterfuge".
Pointing out several irregularities in the T20 beginning from auction of players, the petitioner had alleged, "Black money and money from anti-social elements are involved in the T20 which needs to be probed."
Warning the BCCI that cricket lovers might not take such irregularities in "quietus", the bench directed it to punish the errant players and teams involved in various irregularities.
"The game of cricket is played in many countries for the last 125 years so the BCCI must take action to maintain the game," it told the BCCI counsel.
Eighteen people -- three T20 players, four former players and 11 bookies and their assistants -- have been arrested since last Thursday in connection with the spot-fixing scandal that has rocked the cricketing world.