Rajasthan Royals 'are hurting' - Dravid
Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid has expressed shock and distress after three of his team-mates - Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan - were arrested on corruption charges on Thursday, and said the team was gutted to think their performances may have been affected as a result of the alleged spot-fixing by the three players.
"The players and people around the team are hurting", Dravid said. "Our players are devastated that our performances may have been affected, as they have a desire to win that has been evident throughout the tournament. For me as a captain and leader, I have to focus on ensuring the team fulfil their enormous potential and continue to play in the Rajasthan Royals way.
"We as a team take a zero-tolerance view of the situation. The owners and management have made their zero-tolerance policy clear at every possible moment. I am sure they will support every action taken."
Paddy Upton, Royals' coach, was equally disappointed after the events unfolded during the day and said the team would not lose its focus as they face Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday before the play-off matches begin.
"Today has seen an unfurling of events that have left us all shocked and disappointed, and we will support the franchise, the BCCI and the authorities in taking necessary actions to root out an evil that plagues our game," Upton said. "However, we will not let the team lose its focus on completing what has been a magnificent tournament. We cannot let bad eggs ruin the game that we all love and destroy an environment that we have worked hard to take to a new level."
Earlier in the day, the franchise had issued a statement saying they had been "taken by surprise" by the arrests of the players.
"We have been informed that three of our players have been called in for investigation on spot-fixing in matches. We are completely taken by surprise. We do not have the full facts at this point and are unable to confirm anything. We are in touch with the BCCI on this matter. We will fully cooperate with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation. The management at Rajasthan Royals has a zero-tolerance approach to anything that is against the spirit of the game."