London: Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has said that spot-fixing is "rife in the game" and that he has survived three attempts on his life for refusing to fix IPL matches.
"Spot-fixing is rife in the game. And I'm talking globally. It's a Pandora's box. It's staring you straight in the face, but difficult to prove. Almost impossible to prove," Modi said in an interview in the controversial book - Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Heart of Cricket's Underworld - by Ed Hawkins.
Modi goes on to say that some players had to be warned about the presence of 'undesirable elements' and states his belief that players should take more responsibility to stop corruption, rather than "pushing it under the carpet. I think it (IPL) was clean, but I could never, sitting here today, categorically tell you that we picked up everything for spot-fixing, and that goes for all games, not just IPL," he said.
"It's extremely difficult to spot. We had to warn players from time to time. We found undesirable elements in the stadium and removed them. We found them touring with players or managers of players who were in touch with bookmakers and we removed them," Modi insisted. The players have to be the ones who take responsibility. It's their game. The game is by them, for them and of them.
They need to be speaking out instead of pushing it under the carpet, which is normally the case. They need to come out and tell the truth. No one will know better if it is happening than the teammates. If they won't talk or give information it's difficult for anyone else to know."
Modi recounts three occasions when he says that his life was threatened "by the underworld for refusing to fix IPL matches".
"There was a shoot-out outside my house (in 2009) and one guy got killed and one got picked up," he said.
The other attempts came in South Africa in April of the same year and in Phuket, Thailand, in January 2010. On each occasion, he was warned by the police or the intelligence agencies.
Author Hawkins says the aim of the book is to "get under the fingernails of the bookmakers, punters and fixers who seek to corrupt cricket". The book made news recently when Hawkins claimed that the 2011 World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan was fixed.