Approaches to two IPL players reported to ACSU - Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar, the interim BCCI president for the IPL, has admitted that two cricketers reported approaches this season, and that the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) officials had been alerted to it.
Asked if players had been approached during this year's IPL, Gavaskar replied: "There have been a couple and it has been reported to ACSU. They are looking into it."
He also said that issue regarding Brendon McCullum being approached by bookies is something to be concerned about. "I can assure you that the leak did not come from the IPL. I don't know where it came from. It's an issue to be concerned [about]. I have to say we have got an integrity officer attached with every team this time. It has made it a lot easier for players to communicate.
"Sometimes players didn't know what to do. Okay, there was a number to contact. But a lot of people [players] were thinking if you contact it, does your number come under their list. The anonymity and confidentiality aspect was something the players were not sure about.
"Now with the integrity officer attached to every team, it has become a lot easier. If there has been an approach, people go and tell the officer so that he takes it forward."
Gavaskar said he has also been seeking suggestions from the legends of Indian cricket to help youngsters deal with various pressures of being a part of the IPL. "I called up four legends of the game… Sachin [Tendulkar], Anil [Kumble], VVS [Laxman] and Rahul [Dravid]. They are contemporary cricketers. They know the current pressures, tensions and situations our cricketers deal with," Gavaskar said. "The IPL is a hugely covered event. It is way bigger than the Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy or the Vijay Hazare Trophy, so sometimes it is easy for youngsters to get carried away.
"Indian cricket could end up losing these talented youngsters. Or they could end up losing valuable years till they realise that sport is a great leveller and can bring you down to earth very, very quickly. We have to take care of that situation."
Based on the suggestions from the famous quartet, Gavaskar along with his colleagues in the IPL governing council intend to formulate a plan to groom youngsters. "This is something that the IPL GC was thinking of. From here, it will go to the BCCI working committee and hopefully from there it will take wing."
The programme, once ratified by the working committee, is likely to be implemented during the off-season, when barring the touring Indian team, the other cricketers will be in India. "After the IPL, it will be an off-season for most of the cricketers apart from those who are selected to tour England and the few other players who play league cricket in England. Majority of the players will be in India and during the time we could have an ongoing programme. The BCCI will very soon have the programme under way."
Gavaskar also announced that the BCCI is in discussion with Tendulkar and Dravid to pitch in for improving the standards of cricket by interacting frequently with cricketers from smaller centres.
"Sachin and Rahul are wonderful role models to help the youngsters. I think we can have them talk to youngsters and raise the standards of the sport. This matter will also be discussed in BCCI," Gavaskar said. "Most of our cricketers come from small places. Somebody like Mahi (MS Dhoni), he's an inspiration to budding cricketers from lesser known towns. The thing to do is to spread the net wide. That is something the BCCI must capitalise on but I'm here only for a short term… mine is really a T20 innings."