IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: Sports Minister says his head hangs in shame

Sports Minister Jitendra Singh refused to comment on the links emerging between bookies and IPL team owners such as Chennai Super Kings’ Gurunath Meiyappan (left) © AFP

New Delhi: May 23, 2013

Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday said he has been forced to hang his head in shame due to the IPL spot-fixing scandal, which is becoming bigger and murkier with each passing day, insisting that a deterrent law could have prevented the credibility crisis that cricket is facing right now.

“It is very shameful. As a young person, as a sports fan, as the Sports Minister of the country, my head hangs in shame,” Jitendra told reporters.

“There should be some mechanism so that it doesn’t happen again. And it is not only about cricket. We are talking about cricket because of this expose but there are other sports as well,” he said.

The Law Ministry is mulling a new anti-fixing legislation to deal with the menace after the latest scandal in which three Rajasthan Royals cricketers were arrested. In fact, several other murky details of the betting racket are tumbling out everyday with police conducting country-wide raids to nab bookmakers, who have underworld connections.

“We are in touch with the Home Ministry and the Law Ministry to work out the law. We will consult the Attorney General before moving forward,” said Jitendra.

“It is necessary that there is a law or a deterrent.

There is no guarantee that this is not happening in other sports. Who knows it might have started in other sports as well,” he cautioned.

The Minister refused to comment on the links emerging between bookies and IPL team owners such as Chennai Super KingsGurunath Meiyappan.

“That’s an investigation, I can’t say anything on that,” he said.

When asked if the government should have come up with a an anti-fixing law when the first such cricketing scandal broke out in 2000, Jitendra said, “What has happened in the past, I can’t comment on that but the government today is very proactive.”

“There should have been a law earlier but better late than never,” he added.

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