Anurag Thakur, the former BCCI president, has urged the concerned authorities to reveal the name of all the 13 individuals who were allegedly involved in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal that had rocked the Indian Premier League.
An envelope containing the names of the individuals was handed over to the Supreme Court by the Mudgal committee in February 2014. Later, media reports had suggested that some big names like MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina were also allegedly involved in the scandal.
G Sampath Kumar (SP, Railways) had submitted a report to Justice Mukul Mudgal in which Dhoni and Raina’s names were mentioned.
However, so far nothing positive has been materialised in this case and Thakur believes the names should be made public to resolve the whole issue and restore the pride of the game which is bigger than every individual.
The BJP leader went on to insist that had the Indian cricket board been more pro-active in punishing guilty cricketers and administrators, it would not have found itself in the ‘mess’ it is now in.
“For me, individuals are not important. The institution is important. I am not bothered about any ‘A’ or ‘B’ player. I am only concerned about BCCI as an institution. The envelope containing the name of the cricketers was never opened by the Court, which means the issue from where the entire episode started wasn’t resolved. But other issues against the BCCI were opened,” Thakur told The Times of India. “If anyone is involved in match-fixing or unethical practice, there must be a harsher punishment because no name is bigger than the game.”
“Certain A, B or C players are roaming free after so many years. They are sitting in TV studios. The same TV channels and newspapers which wrote against them on fixing and betting, they have called them cricket experts. So, there has to be some law and harsher punishment for such individuals and activities,” he added.
Thakur further said he is all set to introduce his ‘National Sports Ethics Commission Bill’, in the Lok Sabha as a private member’s bill. The bill is aimed to curb the major problems that have marred sports like match-fixing, age fraud and sexual harassment.
“I am approaching Parliament with this bill. The bill aims to curb the menace of match-fixing, age fraud and sexual harassment in sports. It could be introduced in the winter or the budget session. The moment it is introduced, the debate will start. Betting, however, is not a part of it,” he said.
The bill includes harsher punishments for the offenders, likes a 10-year jail term for match-fixing in addition to hefty fines.
Thakur, who along with Ajay Shirke was removed from his BCCI post earlier this year, also took a dig on the deadlock between the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the current BCCI over implementing the Lodha reforms.
“If you look back at Oct 1, 2016, BCCI had accepted more than 90 per cent of reforms. For the rest, we went back to the SC. Has anything has changed since then? It’s been more than 13 months but we have made no headway. The only thing which has changed is that BCCI has lost its position globally. BCCI has lost crores in revenue,” he said.
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