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December 14, 2011
Rahul Dravid has called on cricketers to give up "a little bit of freedom of movement and privacy" if it helps keep the game free of corruption. Speaking at the Sir Donald Bradman Oration in Canberra, Dravid said players should treat the inconveniences of dope tests, the possible scrutiny of finances, or even lie-detector tests as necessary measures to keep the sport clean.
"Cricket's financial success means it will face threats from outside the game and keep facing them. The last two decades have proved this over and over again," Dravid said. "The internet and modern technology may just end up being a step ahead of every anti-corruption regulation in place in the game.
"As players, the one way we can stay ahead for the game is if we are willing to be monitored and regulated closely. Even if it means giving up a little bit of freedom of movement and privacy. If it means undergoing dope tests, let us never say no.
"If it means undergoing lie-detector tests, let us understand the technology, what purpose it serves and accept it. Lie-detectors are by no means perfect but they could actually help the innocent clear their names. Similarly, we should not object to having our finances scrutinised, if that is what is required."
The radical idea of lie-detector tests was first mooted by the MCC to strengthen anti-corruption measures. The proposal was backed by former Australia captain Steve Waugh, who took a lie-detector test himself, and England captain Andrew Strauss also said he would be willing to undergo such an examination. The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), however, was opposed to the idea and its chief executive Tim May said lie-detector tests were "far from foolproof".
Dravid, the first foreign player to deliver the Bradman oration, said that players needed to sacrifice a bit of personal comfort for the good of the game. His comments came at the end of a year during which three Pakistan players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - were found guilty of spot-fixing during the tour of England in 2010. They were sentenced to jail terms after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
"When the first anti-corruption measures were put into place, we did moan a little bit about being accredited and depositing our cell phones with the manager. But now we must treat it like we do airport security because we know it is for our own good and our own security," Dravid said. "Players should be ready to give up a little personal space and personal comfort for this game, which has given us so much. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.