'Integrity is non-negotiable' - Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar speaking at the MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture BCCI

Sunil Gavaskar, the interim BCCI president for IPL affairs, has said that playing the game with integrity and honesty is critical, particularly amid the corruption allegations that have dogged the league. Gavaskar was speaking on the sidelines of the opening match of the T20 league between Kolkata and defending champions Mumbai in Abu Dhabi.

"Integrity is non-negotiable… You cannot compromise on integrity as far as any sport is concerned, particularly the IPL, because of what has happened last year," Gavaskar said. "It is therefore important to change the image and change the perception."

According to a BCCI release, Gavaskar stressed on the importance of playing the game according to the MCC Spirit of Cricket at the pre-season meeting with captains and coaches. He said that the image of the game should not be tarnished because of the acts of a few individuals.

"In my speech last night, I said that just because of a few people, the entire society doesn't get tarnished. Similarly, because of a couple of people, you must not tarnish the cricketing fraternity and the tournament.

"I hope the fans would understand that there are a lot of honest players out there who go out and slog and sweat it out and give their best. They try their best every single delivery, every single minute and you should have faith in them."