Mumbai: Playing down the controversy stirred by Virat Kohli‘s interaction with actress girlfriend Anushka Sharma during an IPL match, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur on Wednesday said no player is above the game and investigations are on in the alleged code of conduct breach. Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Kohli was spotted chatting with Anushka in the VIP box during a rain break in the team’s game against Delhi Daredevils at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Players are not allowed to interact with anyone other than the dug-out members during a match under the anti-corruption guidelines. Thakur assured that the star will be dealt with as per law. “According to the IPL guidelines, the anti-corruption unit issues a notice and they demand explanations. According to it, we did whatever we needed to do. No player is above the game. And whatever the rules of the game say, investigations will happen according to it and it has been like that always,” Thakur told media at a press-conference here today.
Kohli will lead a 15-member squad in the one-off Test against Bangladesh starting June 10 in Fatullah. Thakur said he was happy with the team’s performance in the recent past and also sees the beginning of a new era in BCCI. “If you look in the last two months, you must have seen some change in the BCCI. This is just the beginning,” said the BJP MP.
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) President also believes that the board’s education policy regarding match-fixing has had it’s effect on players. At the start of this edition a Rajasthan Royals player was approached by an alleged bookie and he reported the matter to the franchise. Thakur is pleased with the responsible behaviour of the players. “As far the players being approached is concerned, the BCCI education policy is working very well. If someone is being approached by anyone, he has reported back to the anti-corruption unit. I think this is the thing to highlight and admire that the players are reporting back,” he said.
Thakur also reiterated that he wants the spotlight back on cricket rather than controversies that are over and done with. “Our focus will be to bring the spotlight back on cricket rather than the controversies. I am glad this year the IPL was very successful. The ratings were high, the TV ratings were up by 20 per cent. Even the stadia’s, we saw an increase of 30 percent as far as the crowd was concerned,” he said.