IPL 2013 May 20, 2013

Expunge from records if found guilty - Chopra

ESPNcricinfo staff

Aakash Chopra, the former India batsman, has said any player found guilty of spot-fixing should have his records expunged completely, an idea that is believed to have been raised at Sunday's BCCI working committee meeting in Chennai where it received a favourable response.

Speaking on ESPNcricinfo's daily programme, the Huddle, to discuss the latest spot-fixing scandal plaguing the IPL, Chopra added such punishment should have been meted out in 2000. "It will probably be done now. Thats what I've been reading that if players are found guilty their records will be erased completely, as if they've never played cricket," Chopra said.

When asked if dismissing a player's records on the basis of their actions in one tournament is justified, Chopra said, "What we get to know is what has been probed and proved. So if somebody has cheated once, I would err on the other side and say he has been a cheat all his life. And if he is not a cheat, I need to set a precedent because even if it was for one time, he has cheated the country, the fans and the game."

"When you see players who've been found guilty and handed life bans or five-year bans coming back to mainstream cricket as television pundits or coaches or politicians, it seems like legitimacy lasts only for a few years and that's wrong. India is very forgiving about corruption but hopefully with stronger punishment people will be deterred from participating in such acts."

The IPL runs a programme that focuses on educating the players to deter them from corruption, but Chopra said the same facilities should be made available at all levels of domestic cricket.

"Not too long ago I was playing for a Ranji trophy side and a promising young crickter came up to me and said he was offered one crore as a minimum guarantee by an agent. That didn't sound right. I told him you're not playing for India, you haven't played a single game in the IPL and somebody's offering you one crore? I dont buy it. Dont talk to that person again. Its not the right kind of money that you deserve.

"He didn't speak to him, but there are young players being approached every day. They are not used to the glamour, the money or the fame and there are characters who are always there waiting for the opportune time to pounce on their prey, so its a difficult world out there. And you're also interacting with people on social media and these are just names, no faces. Even the names might not be correct so that educational programme has to be there throughout the year and not just for the IPL"

Chopra also advocated measures to educate the players of what awaits them if they indulged in fixing a cricket match. "If the person agrees, talk about sharing cells with hardcore criminals, making do with unclean lavatories, starving oneself so that you won't have to use those lavatories - this is something the players need to know because that is what awaits them if they are found guilty."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohit on May 21, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    How about having the players stats intact but flagged red - so that every time the match figures are shown , the tainted players name does appear but highlighted !! This way there would be no issue of stats mismatch and completeness of the information on the match scorecard , and also will make sure that the wring doers get enough punishment by the red flag.... The counter argument would be that it is a sensitive issue and we should not talk about it every time we are looking at a scorecard - but come on ! high time we spoke about this and make sure that the punishment is big enough to deter people from getting involved in these !!!

  • Imran on May 21, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    Nothing will help.A person who makes money in the game has no love for either his game or his country.He will not be pushed.His greed for money far outweighs sane living and survival.

  • nikunj on May 21, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Even murderers have a life sentence . What greater punishment for a cricketer then taking away 5 years from his best years.

  • Sarath on May 21, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    "Expunging records" would be brutal to say the least. Can the same analogy be applied to politicians who are caught in various schemes. One mistake should not erase the history of deeds.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Aakash Chopra has made the 'expunging of records of tainted players' to ESPNCricinfo, while Anil Kumble who is a prominent member of the BCCI's technical committee suggested the same through video conferencing during the Board's emergency working committee meeting called to discuss the fallout of the spot-fixing incident. One statistician has very CORRECTLY pointed out that: "Removing the tainted players' names from the scorecards/records will mean that we'll have missing entries in scorecards in different sections. Batting and bowling entries won't tally at all. This will leave us in a complete mess as far as statistics are concerned. They will be rendered meaningless. Also, what will you do with the result of such a match."

  • Nilesh on May 21, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    I am sorry Aakash, I will have to disagree with you on the issue of expunging of records. People sometimes lose their way due to stress and greed and you need to make sure that the right punishment is given so that they are penalized quickly and adequately. However, expunging a record is basically making it very black and white. "Once a thief, always a thief" and things are not like that in real life. Do you have any proof that when Sreesanth was bowling in 2006 against South Africa and we won a test in Johannesburg, he was involved with match or spot fixing? If not, I don't think there is any reason to expunge that record or any past record when he was not involved with corruption.

    If Cricket was an individual sport, perhaps that might make more sense. Since it is a team sport, I don't think that makes a lot of sense to do this.

    The BCCI should focus more on training/outreach programs to help prevent losing other talented cricketers to corruption and strengthen vigilance.

  • Siva on May 21, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    "Hall of Shame" sounds good :)

  • Chetan on May 21, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    If guilty does not matter what records say. expunged or not ..This three are all over the cricketing world if they are guilty and they will not be playing Cricket again. For sure. If you expunged or not it is a technical term nobody cares..

  • Vishal on May 21, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    How do you expunge individual records w/o affecting team records. If Sreesanth took wickets in a match and you remove his performance what does that mean in terms of Team India's performance.

    I think the players need to levied heavy fine followed by imprisonment (or in any order). Hopefully, this will trickle down to politicians as well at some point in future!

  • Gopi on May 21, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    What about that short, pacy Sreesanth delivery that made Jacques Kallis jump when India toured SA the last time? It was one of the "moments" of that test series for me (sigh).

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