Congress terms spot fixing row to be unfortunate

New Delhi, May 16: Congress Party on Wednesday termed the ongoing row over the suspension of five cricketers suspected to be involved in fixing and corruption in domestic cricket to be unfortunate, and said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should bring those guilty before the law.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said one should not play with the feelings of the people of the country, who are devoted to the wonderful game of cricket.

“See whatever is happening is unfortunate. The BCCI should bring those guilty before the law. A game should be taken like a game. One should not play with the feelings of the people of the country,” he said.

The Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Working Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had earlier on Tuesday suspended five cricketers for their alleged role in spot fixing matches in the IPL.

The decision to suspend five players Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, T P Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali came in the wake of a television sting operation, which claimed to have exposed corruption in the cash-rich IPL.

The BCCI and the Governing Council of the IPL also issued statements in this regard yesterday, saying that they have set up a committee of inquiry headed by Ravi Sawani to look into the matter thoroughly.

The chairman and editor-in-chief of India TV, Rajat Sharma, had also on Tuesday defended the Indian Premier League (IPL)-related sting operation carried out by his channel, adding that he was ready to defend his channel legally, if necessary.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken had earlier on Tuesday said it was the BCCI’s responsibility to look into the IPL spot-fixing issue. He called for prompt action in the interest of the cricket fans in the country.

“I am sure and wish that BCCI acts fast, goes into the root cause of this problem and solves the problem in the interest of the millions of fans in cricket in our country,” said Maken.

“I have just seen a part of what all of you have seen in the sting operation. I am very sure you all know that in cricket, in other sports also, and not only in India, but elsewhere also, we occasionally hear such things happening. But the challenge and the opportunity here lies with the BCCI, as to how far they are able to go to the root cause, go to the bottom of the problem and sort it out,” Maken said.

The India TV IPL expose had also attracted Parliament’s attention and ire on Tuesday, with BJP leader and former cricketer Kirti Azad calling for strict action against the players involved, and adding that suspension was not enough.

Kirti Azad asked the government to step up internal auditing of different sports bodies and associations to halt spot fixing in sports.

He also questioned how the second edition of the IPL was shifted to South Africa, causing a tremendous loss of foreign exchange.

India TV has claimed that it undertook the sting operation to see how deep was the malaise of spot fixing in all forms of cricket, including the IPL and first-class matches. (ANI)