New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Tuesday said the onus lies with the BCCI as far as the IPL spot-fixing is concerned and has asked the board to take prompt action in the interest of the millions of 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 of cricket in our country," Maken said.
The Sports Minister also hoped that the BCCI would sort out the issue at the earliest. "I have just seen 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 matter was also raised during the Zero Hour by Samajwadi Party member Shailendra Kumar and supported by former cricketer Kirti Azad of the BJP. Kumar said when there is a demand to check the flow of black money and bringing it back from foreign banks, the "black money is being turned into white through the IPL." Action has been taken against some Pakistani cricketers over their alleged involvement in match-fixing, but there has so far been no action against any Indian cricketer, he said, demanding a high-level inquiry into the episode.
Azad said spot-fixing and match-fixing have been prevalent from way back in 1999 and even former South African captain Hansie Cronje was allegedly involved in it. Observing that IPL was a commercial entity, he said there have been reports of foreign exchange violations and the government should look into it.
He claimed that since politicians came in to head or being part of the various national sports associations, "corruption has seeped in and grown... Rs. 30 crore is paid every year to each of these federations. Where does this money go? There is no internal audit." The BJP member demanded probe into the allegations and stern action against those found guilty.
The channel, India TV, on Monday claimed it had done a sting operation in which many players confessed on hidden camera that they get much more than their prescribed auction amount under the table. According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed, and women played an important role in match-fixing.
Superstars of Indian cricket and even an international player, who is a captain of one of the teams, are involved in fixing the matches, the channel said in a statement. Kings XI Punjab player Shalabh Srivastava, Mohnish Mishra of Pune Warriors, TP Sudhindra of Deccan Chargers and Amit Yadav of Kings XI Punjab are shown in the sting operation.