Senior leader of India's regional party Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Shivanand Tiwari condemns the spot fixing incident, lashes out at the cricket league stating that it is corrupting the players and the sport.
NEW DELHI, INDIA (MAY 19, 2013) (ANI) - Senior leader of India's regional party, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Shivanand Tiwari lashed out at the cricket league format for the latest controversy exposing the nexus of cricketers and bookies in spot fixing.
While speaking with mediapersons in the national capital on Sunday (May 19) Tiwari said the deterioration in the sport was expected in the wake of open auctioning of the players.
"It is no longer a sport rather it's more like a trade now, hence the incident does not come as a surprise. The way players are being auctioned is similar to that of slaves in ancient times. If you go to an animal fair, the cattle is sold after inspecting their teeth and legs and accordingly their value is decided and are sold. Similarly the players are judged on the basis of how their background and auctioning is done, after which the highest bidder get to walk away with the player. All these things are taking place openly in our country," he said.
Former India test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two other players ofRajasthan Royals, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested by Delhi policeon suspicion of spot fixing in the Indian Premier League.
Spot-fixing is the manipulation of individual incidents within a match which may not affect the outcome of the contest, most famously exposed in a London trial and jailing of three Pakistani cricketers in 2011.
It is alleged that the three Indian bowlers took money to concede pre-determined number of runs in three different IPL matches.
For 4 million Indian rupees ($72,900) Sreesanth agreed to concede 13 or more runs in his second over of a May 09 match at Mohali.
India's ruling Congress party also condemned the incident, while stating that the players should have revealed in time about the claims that they were threatened by the under world to commit the crime, so that their security would have been taken care of.
"We are capable of providing security to our players. They should have earlier told about any evident threat. Now that they are embroiled in this incident the accused are revealing that it was due to threat from under world that the crime was committed- this does not give any justification. I don't approve of their actions but they should have sought help from the system (police) set up in the country," saidMeem Afzal, Congress party spokesperson.
Paceman Sreesanth, 30, has a chequered past littered with on-field antics that frequently landed him in trouble since his 2006 test debut at home against England.
As was agreed upon, Sreesanth tucked a towel in his waistband to signal to the bookie, giving him enough time to "indulge in heavy betting", the police chief said.
The combative right-arm speedster has played 27 tests and 53 one-day internationals but injuries and disciplinary issues have kept him out of the side since late 2011.
Last year, the Indian cricket board banned one uncapped cricketer for life and handed out lesser punishments to four others following similar allegations of corruption in domestic cricket.
Legal gambling in India is confined to horseracing while casinos are allowed only in a couple of states.
In such an atmosphere, illegal syndicates continue to thrive and Indian media estimates put the amount bet on 2009 IPL Twenty20 competition at $427 million.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) subsequently banned the three players for a minimum of five years.