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Dravid wants fixing to be criminal offence

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 7, 2013

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Dravid: 'Fixing has got to be made a criminal offence'

Rahul Dravid has called for match-fixing and spot-fixing to be made criminal offences, adding that the fear of the law would be a huge deterrent to potential fixers. Dravid also wanted more education of players in the junior levels about the problem of fixing.

Alleged suspects in the IPL spot-fixing case are brought to a court in Delhi, IPL 2013, Delhi, May 16, 2013
A file photo of alleged suspects in the IPL spot-fixing case being produced in court. Rahul Dravid said that classifying fixing as a criminal offence could be an effective deterrent © AFP

The latest episode of on-field cricket corruption surfaced in May when three of Dravid's Rajasthan Royals' team-mates were arrested for alleged spot-fixing.

"My personal belief is that education and counselling at a junior level is really important," Dravid said in an extensive interview to ESPNcricinfo. "I think we've got to start early, we've got to start young but … that part of it is already being done. I know that India has its own ACSU and even for Ranji Trophy teams this education is given."

Along with awareness problems, Dravid emphasised the need for stringent laws. "I don't think only education can work, policing it and having the right laws and ensuring that people when they indulge in this kind of activities are actually punished. People must see that there are consequences to your actions. That will create fear for people."

Dravid referred to cycling, a sport that has seen many of its leading stars admit to taking performance-enhancing drugs in recent years, to highlight why awareness programs alone were not sufficient. "Everyone knows it's wrong, and it's frightening, having read a little bit about it and the number of cyclists who were doing it. Surely all know it's wrong.

"So the only people those cyclists were scared of was not the testers, not the authority, they were scared of the police. You read all the articles, the only guys they were scared of was the police and going to jail. So the only way that people are going to get that fear is if they know the consequences to these actions and the law that will come into play. It's got to be a criminal offence."

The three Royals players arrested on allegations of spot-fixing - Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - have all been charged under the strict Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), a special law passed by the Maharashtra state government to tackle organised crime syndicates and terrorism.

"The case is still on and I don't want to make any judgement on whether people are guilty or not and I think everyone has a right to be innocent until he's proven guilty and I'm glad the police is going ahead and doing what needs to be done and taking it to its logical conclusion."

Click here to read the full transcript of the interview

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

He and Sachin should take initiation with the help of all retired players to form a panel for discussion of loopholes required to be improved in cricket to save cricket.

Posted by ruponkantidas on (August 12, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

The real hero and all time favorite player of the entire cricketing world is again in the crease as usual to handle the crisis as a wall. I salute you RD. As a complete cricketer you were the best, you are the best and of course you will remain the best.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

Very Very Well Said Rahul. Education and Policing is a must in any sport. Cricket badly needs it.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 23:03 GMT)

I am not trying to question Rahul Dravid (my second favorite player followed by Tendulkar) character, even though I agree with him, but wonder why is he saying it now. Why did not he bring up the idea when he was playing?

Posted by akpy on (August 8, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

even here, couple of people have brought sachin into the mix !!! haha

Posted by akpy on (August 8, 2013, 22:14 GMT)

Posted by mnrusimh on (August 7, 2013, 18:42 GMT) It is worth noting that of all the senior players (currently playing as well as retired), Dravid is the only one who commented on the crisis. God knows what happened to the likes of Gavaskar, Shastri, Ganguly, Kumble and of course, Tendulkar.

So what?????

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

## Rahul Dravid is a good thinking player no doubt about it now he showing us how one best player can be a honest person as well Salute him##

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

Only one player in the entire Indian cricket fraternity can speak the truth... his name is Rahul Sharad Dravid #respect

Posted by Big_Chikka on (August 8, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

the wall has spoken.............................

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

Once again Dravid hits the nail on the head. Can't agree with him more - fixing is serious fraud (as is taking performance-enhancing drugs).

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

Well said Mr Dravid. Education is vital. However punitive action must be taken if one is gaining from dishonest means. Spot fixing is a fraudulent procurement of winnings. All betting is not illegal just as all share dealing is not illegal but insider trading certainly is and a criminal offence at that. So the logical conclusion is that spot fixing must be illegalised and offenders prosecuted. This will certainly act as a deterrent but will not eliminate it and like anything there will be those who will try to beat the system and get punished if caught!

Posted by Keshavaram on (August 8, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

100% Right what Rahul Sharad Dravid has said. He is the master of the game & through gentleman. World/Universe best No.3 Batsman.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

Best just ban gambling in Cricket with tough Jail fines for people gambling catch them red handed, good value for economy, imagine the court fees and lawyers and additional income for our system, the real thieves are one that make money from gambling! What you say?all other sports will follow suit!!

Posted by gethudhansothu on (August 8, 2013, 0:36 GMT)

Only education about the laws will not work. Are you saying that Sreesanth was never aware of the fixing laws? The rules need to be stricter. The decisions need to come soon. Cronje case got completed just few weeks before. Azharuddin is still hoping for a comeback. Sreesanth will captain one of the IPL teams in future. Unless the punishments are going to come soon and heavy, fixing will continue......

Posted by sidgupta on (August 8, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

It is sad that my previous comment about the interview was not published. I hope Cricinfo is mature enough to take criticism once in a while. Rahul Dravid is spot on with his suggestion about making fixing a criminal offense

Posted by crikkfan on (August 7, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

It is a no-brainer that fixing should be a criminal offence as far as I am concerned. I am surprised there are even two thoughts about it! A little more vague topic is about betting - whether it should be legalized or not. I am for the legalization which just means that the betting that is going to happen anyway in the underworld with the black money will instead be done with the white money. UK is an example where it is legal and companies like Ladbrokes are household names. In no way does that by itself encourage someone in a team environment to throw a match - we can argue that betting could actually reduce fixing. Karthickk i am shocked by your comment and your analogy is not appropriate - a director making a subpar movie is not akin to a bowler bowling a wide on purpose or a batsman pretending to play a shot and getting bowled. Movie making is a creative art and its success or lack of it is determined by the audience while playing the sport is very deliberate

Posted by Karthickk on (August 7, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

I have my utmost respect for Dravid, both as a player and as a human, he would be the first person to come to my mind when thinking of a great player. However, this is one instance I disagree with him. Spot fixing, should NOT and CANNOT be criminal offense. Please do not classify me as a criminal for saying this. Cricket is just a game played for entertainment, agreed, few hundred millions of people watch it. Can you classify a movie director a criminal for making a movie below his caliber ? People always have the option of not watching it. Our Judicial time is too valuable to be wasted for such petty issues. If the money comes from underworld, or if the players have nexus with underworld that is totally a different story, that does not come under fixing. Whatever happens within a cricket field should be handled by the respective cricket boards. The boards are free to ban the players found guilty. Emotions aside, as a true cricket lover my opinion is that betting be LEGALIZED.

Posted by fr600 on (August 7, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

Totally agree with the gentleman.

Posted by Podicheti on (August 7, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

It is worth noting that of all the senior players (currently playing as well as retired), Dravid is the only one who commented on the crisis. God knows what happened to the likes of Gavaskar, Shastri, Ganguly, Kumble and of course, Tendulkar.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

The more Mr. Dravid talks about this topic, the more respect this man gets.. @Shreesanth n Chandela.. You could never on Dravid's chair being interviewed by someone about anything. I think the training at grass root level should also focus on how the likes of Dravid, Tendulkar, Kumble, VVS and Ganguly have gone about their career in terms of passion, want of playing for country, what it means to play for a country..

Posted by chechong0114 on (August 7, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

I have no problem with cricket taking strong action to rid the sport of match fixing but if they really want to rid the sport of the disease shouldn't they first try to assure that all players of the sport are properly paid first. Apart from maybe England , India and Australia all the other cricket playing nations are struggling financially and the international cricket council should be trying harder to help some of the nations financially before they continue to penalize players the way they are doing. Cricket is a sport that has no sense of direction whatsoever and the only thing that is consistent in the sport is empty seats at major tornaments and foolish bureaucracy this needs to first stop find a way at getting players and cricket boards to make money implement ways to create passion for the sport in the hearts of the cricket loving public which will fiil stands and then when these issues are resolved I am sure it will end most or all the match fixing.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

India is the unquestioned hub of international betting, etc ... quite astonishing that they are just now making arrests and even those at the ipl level ... the truth maybe bitter and it may hurt but it's the only remedy.

Posted by Ray24 on (August 7, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Seize all their assets first and foremost. Jail time is also good, but a ban from the game for a longer time, say min 5 - 10 years is also a must.

Posted by Ashu23 on (August 7, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

@Azim Aseem Mughal - Azim for your information they were arrested by the police and sent to jail. They are out not on bail, while the hearing of the case is still pending. If they are proved guilty the court will take necessary actions against them. And for your info, IPL is not governed by ICC, it is governed by BCCI and it is a money making league rather than a bilateral series or a trophy governed by ICC.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

In many or most countries, this form of corruption is already punishable by law. I'm surprised to find that he needed to put this notion forth at all , but it is a welcome one. He has a good head on his shoulders, and I hope that for sub-continental countries, that this is pushed for - with enough momentum to see it become law imminently.

Well said Rahul. You sir, have my support, and the support of billions.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

agreed totally that councelling and education is required at lower level, but what when team authority get involved in fixing. why not make betting legal...

Posted by Rajdeepgupta on (August 7, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

Like the legend said there are good and bad administrators; you decide what is good for your country and let them run the game.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

Why no action against the Indian players involved in spot-fixing while Pakistani players were sent to Jail and had to face sanctions? It seems totally unfair on part of ICC.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

This idea will probably never be accepted, but betting should be taken out of cricket all together. Just enjoy the game people!

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

someone please listen to Mr Dravid he is saying what had to be done a long time ago.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (August 7, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

A typically Rahul conversation-Sincere and candid but also a bit cagey in choosing his words and very diplomatic finish.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

The way e expresses, shows the love and passion towards the Game

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

YOU R Right anyway i am sure i never speak wrong thing at all......I can say if you r standing with Sachin n some one say choose one from u both for something to put trust i will choose u. Still heart wanted to c u on field . Its like a corner of heart missing something and thats u when there is a talk about cricket....GOD Bless U.

Posted by milepost on (August 7, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

It's not illegal in India? That's news. A number of cricketers have been jailed in England for it. But yes agree with Dravid and I think it is fair to say his opinions about the game are highly respected by fans from all countries. I think a life ban from the ICC and the respective board is apt also. We should be saying to players if you mess with our game in this way you will never play it again and you will serve time in prison.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

agree completely with rahul. hope the law makers are listening.

Posted by amk23 on (August 7, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

good suggestions Rahul !! ... Match/Spot fixing should have been made punishable by law from the time hansie cronje/ azaruddin / ajay jadeja case came up....... but better late than never

Posted by vijaytsg on (August 7, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Hi All,

THE WALL OF INDIA hurt because of spot fixing and present cricket situation , Every INDIAN must be understand RAHUL comments.One of the legend in world class cricketer expressed his feeling about fixing .We all support to RAHUL

He is the real sports legend . Hats off to WALL

BCCI must correct their mistakes and respect to Cricketers.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

It's absolutely correct!

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