Pune: The eighth season of IPL has only three days gone . Bookies already started their work to do. A Rajasthan Royals player was approached with an offer of money for fixing, and he informed the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption & Security Unit (ACSU) about it last month. A leading newspaper of a country reported that the player was approached well before the IPL by one of his Ranji Trophy team-mates, who is not part of the ongoing T20 tournament.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur confirmed that the Mumbai-based player had informed the ACSU about the incident. “A player was approached and he immediately intimated BCCI anti-corruption unit. Glad that BCCI education policy [is] showing positive results,” Thakur tweeted. “Players are alert and they know what is to be done due to our regular education efforts.”
“It was an exploratory kind of approach, but he was shut up immediately [by the Mumbai player],” a BCCI official said. According to the official it is nothing new considering players have now become more vigilant in the aftermath of the 2013 corruption scandal. He also said the education and awareness measures put in place by BCCI’s anti-corruption unit had helped the players understand the modus operandi used by fixers.
“Rajasthan Royals commends the player for having reported this incident immediately and for his honesty and uprightness,” Royals CEO Raghu Iyer said in a statement. “His dedication to maintain the highest standards of integrity needs to be lauded.
“Rajasthan Royals in keeping with its zero tolerance approach immediately reported the incident further to the ACSU/BCCI for further process. Rajasthan Royals will continue to provide full support and assistance to the BCCI to ensure that the game of cricket is played in the right spirit. This incident does highlight that if players and other officials cooperate and disclose information or approaches immediately, the game can be kept clean and free from undesirable elements and activities.”
Incidentally, Royals mentor Rahul Dravid had spoken days before this year’s tournament started about the fight against corruption and had asked for anti-corruption measures to be adopted at all international and domestic tournaments, including the IPL, to keep cricket corruption-free.
“We have to remember that the IPL is a two-month tournament. Nine-ten months of the year, people are not with the franchises. Sometimes they are with their state teams or international teams and that is a long time of the year,” Dravid had said. “Things like education and vigilance need to be followed not only by the IPL but by everyone else.
“The IPL is a high-profile tournament. It does attract a lot of attention, hype and media, because of that it does attract at times a lot of wrong elements as well. Vigilance is one thing that at all times we need to be vigilant about. Everyone is trying their best. They have the educational programmes, they have the ACSU. I know Rajasthan Royals, we go out of the way to make an effort, try and educate the players.”
It’s not the first time a fixing-related issue has come out of the Royals camp. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested in the middle of the 2013 IPL season on allegations of spot-fixing. The trio was suspended by the BCCI and Royals within a few days, and Sreesanth and Chavan were later banned for life by the BCCI.
Royals play their first match of the season on Friday against Kings XI Punjab in Pune.