'Everyone needs to guard against corruption' - Dravid
Rahul Dravid has stressed on the anti-corruption measures to be adopted at all international and domestic tournaments, including the IPL, to keep cricket corruption-free. Dravid, the Rajasthan Royals mentor, also reiterated the need for getting corruption-related offences in the ambit of criminal laws as another step to rid the menace.
"We have to remember that the IPL is a two-month tournament. Nine-ten months of the year, people are not with the franchises. Sometimes they are with their state teams or international teams and that is a long time of the year," Dravid said. "Things like education and vigilance need to be followed not only by the IPL but by everyone else."
The IPL was hit by a spot-fixing controversy in 2013 when three of Royals' players - S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - were arrested. When asked about the measures need to be taken by the IPL authorities to reduce the trust deficit among fans, Dravid said everyone involved in the game should be more vigilant.
"There have been unfortunate incidents related not only to the IPL but there have been unfortunate incidents related to international cricket as well, relating to spot-fixing and match-fixing, so it's not a problem that exists only in isolation to the IPL," Dravid said.
"The IPL is a high-profile tournament. It does attract a lot of attention, hype and media, because of that it does attract at times a lot of wrong elements as well," he said. "Vigilance is one thing that at all times we need to be vigilant about. Everyone is trying their best. They have the educational programmes, they have the ACSU. I know Rajasthan Royals, we go out of the way to make an effort, try and educate the players.
"Being vigilant is very important. Everyone is trying to make an effort. You have got to recognise that there are always going to be people who are going to try and find a way into the game, sort of undesirable elements. We just have to remain vigilant. New players coming into the IPL need to be guided."
Dravid has been vocal about the need to introduce stricter laws to deal with fixing-related offences. "Irrespective of whoever is in charge of the IPL, one of the most important things is that we need to have stricter laws that deal with issues like match fixing, spot fixing. And there should be consequences when people make mistakes and are proven guilty," he said.
"We need to have those laws in place that in the long term act as a deterrent. For anything like robbery, theft and cheating there are laws and strict consequences. Those consequences need to happen from lawmakers. You need to go into areas of almost treating it as a criminal offence. That's my belief. There are consequences in cricket and you pay the price."
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo