Two players approached by bookies in this IPL: Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar, the interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India-IPL, admitted on Thursday that two cricketers were approached by bookies during the ongoing seventh season, and the matter was reported to the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit officials (ACSU).
Asked if players were approached during this Indian Premier League this year, he replied: "There have been a couple and it's been reported to ACSU. They are looking into it."
Test cricket’s batting legend also said the issue regarding Brendon McCullum being approached by bookies is something to be concerned about, but assured that no leak as far as confidentiality of the cricketer's discussions with the ACSU came from the IPL.
"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. I've to say we have got an Integrity Officer (IO) attached with every team this time. It has made it a lot easier for players to communicate," Gavaskar told mediapersons.
"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, does your number come under their list.
"The anonymity and confidentiality aspect was something the players were not sure about. Now with the IO attached to every team it has become a lot of easier. If there has been an approach, people go and tell the officer so that he takes it forward."
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Image: Sunil Gavaskar address the media in Kolkata on Thursday.
'Youngsters need to be guided how to go about handling their careers'
Gavaskar, along with his colleagues in the IPL governing council are trying to chalk up an elaborate road map in order to help young and talented cricketers handle their nascent careers, loaded with money and stardom.
"I called up Sachin, Rahul, VVS and Anil Kumble – the four legends of the game -- may be only the second day after taking over. They are contemporary cricketers, they know the current pressures, tensions and situations. We had a tremendous interaction. One of the things that came through, a lot youngsters need to be guided how to go about handling their careers," Gavaskar stated.
"The fame that comes with the IPL suddenly -- it's a hugely covered event -- is much more huge than Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy or Vijay Hazare," Gavaskar said.
For him, this move is precisely being planned so that some of the talented youngsters are not left in the lurch without any proper guidance.
"Sometimes, a youngster can get carried away; even an experienced (player) can get carried away. Indian cricket could end up losing the youngsters, or the youngster could end up losing valuable years till he realises that sport is a great leveller and can bring you down to earth very, very quickly.
"In order to be able to take care of that a situation, that is what the BCCI exactly looking to do. We have to yet formulate the plan. This is just the thinking of the IPL GC which will go to the working committee of BCCI; from there on it will take wings," he said.
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Image: IPL COO Sundar Raman, chairman Ranjib Biswal and BCCI Interim President-IPL Sunil Gavaskar address the media in Kolkata on Thursday.
'Tendulkar and Dravid are fantastic role models to help youngsters'
Asked to clarify talk about scholarships for under-19 cricketers from a fund that will be created by IPL, Gavaskar said it is an ongoing process.
"This is an ongoing process I believe. Particularly, in the off-season, after this (IPL) for most of Indian players it will be an off season apart from those who selected for the Indian team to England. May be, the odd player who go and play in the leagues in England.
"Majority of the players will be in India and that is the time we could have this ongoing programme. A call by BCCI will be taken very quickly to have the programme going."
Gavaskar said that BCCI will also think about to how use legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to raise the standards of the game.
"We are hoping Sachin, Rahul to come in, as they are fantastic role models to help the youngsters. That's an important aspects and to raise the standard of the game. Matter will be discussed in BCCI on best ways to use the icons.
"For someone coming from small towns, somebody like Mahi (Mahendra Singh 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 time.
"Mine is really a T20 innings," he concluded with a witty one-liner.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar practices with Mumbai Indians before Wednesday's match against Kings XI Punjab.