Sunil Gavaskar said N Srinivasan needs to explain why he did not act against players if he knew they were involved in fixing © Picture Courtesy - Abhijit Banare
Sunil Gavaskar asks for explanation from N Srinivasan on why he did not take action against those who were involved in wrong doing © Cricket Country

New Delhi: Nov 18, 2014

India cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has hit out at Gurunath Meiyyapan, son-in-law of ICC President N Srinivasan, over his involvement in betting and also questioned the Tamil Nadu strongman’s silence in the whole spot-fixing and betting issue.

“The full force of the law must come down on Meiyyapan,” Gavaskar said while speaking to the ‘India Today Group’ in Melbourne. He said Srinivasan needs to explain why he did not act against players if he knew they were involved in fixing.

“There are reports which say the Mudgal committee report has found that Srinivasan knew about betting but did not do anything about it. Srinivasan should answer for why he did not act if he knew that a player was guilty,” Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar was in Australia at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend a special reception at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which was hosted by Australian PM Tony Abbot.

Several Indian and Australian cricketing legends such as Kapil Dev, VVS Laxman, Steve Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Allan Border, Jason Gillespie also attended the reception today.

Gavaskar said that there should be zero tolerance against match-fixing and betting and if any player is found guilty of having participated in wrong acts then he should be jailed and his entire cricketing history deleted from the record books.

Gavaskar said, “New Zealand has come up with a new law on betting which says that guilty players will be jailed. India should have the same law.” The former captain also suggested that the government should think about legalising betting in India.

“A lot of betting happens through black money. But if you open official betting shop, Government will be able to increase its revenues. It’s like prohibition, if someone wants to bet illegally, they will. Government should think about legalising betting,” said Gavaskar.

The cricket legend sought to draw a distinction between team owners who were found guilty of betting and players, saying that players should not be punished till the time it can be established that the owner of the team influenced the player.

Speaking about the forthcoming India’s tour of Australia, Gavaskar said that he felt that the Indian team would face a very tough time.

“Indian players will need to be patient. They will need to keep extravagant shots in their pockets when they play in Australia. This is not T20 or One-day Internationals. Australian pitches are the best to bat on but the players have to be patient.”

Meanwhile, Gavaskar also shared some lighter moments with Prime Minister Modi while the World Cup and Border-Gavaskar trophies were being displayed for the two PMs of the two countries.

“When the photo opportunity was on, I saw Modi was holding the World Cup trophy. Abbot held the Border-Gavaskar trophy. I told the PM that you are holding the right trophy. This is the one we want next year. India already holds the Border-Gavaskar trophy, we don’t need it just now.”