Don't paint cricket black on the acts of greedy few, says Gavaskar

With allegations of betting malpractices hitting T20 competitions TNPL and KPL, Sunil Gavaskar said that the viability of such leagues cannot be called into question based on acts of misdemeanour by a few.

Sunil Gavaskar credited the domestic T20 leagues for unearthing talent which would have otherwise gone unnoticed and called for better policing to keep them clean.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

With allegations of betting malpractices hitting T20 competitions TNPL and KPL, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar said that the viability of such leagues cannot be called into question based on acts of misdemeanour by a few.

“Greed is such a thing that no amount of education, guidance, seminars with anti-corruption guys is going to be enough," he said on Friday, on the sidelines of a panel discussion ‘Making Sport in India’.

"Greed is human and sometimes the circumstances make a player think 'I can get away with it'. But you can't, because every little aspect is covered by television. The best of societies still have criminals. In cricket also you will always have the odd person who will be swayed by greed.”

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Gavaskar credited the leagues for unearthing talent which would have otherwise gone unnoticed and called for better policing to keep them clean. “Look at the talent that it has provided from the districts. The number of people who have come from the interiors which otherwise even the best of scouts couldn't have spotted. I think these leagues are very very good. It is giving more talent to Indian cricket.”

“I think trying to educate these kids, telling them what kind of traps they could be in would probably ease it [problem]. But like I said, greed is human. Somebody comes from a very poor background and suddenly sees a lot of money, then you could be swayed.”

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The oft-repeated solution to such problems has been to increase remuneration but for Gavaskar, there were no straight answers. “Even the best-paid guy can be tempted to do something. How does one stop that? In the most developed of societies, there are still prisons, both for big and petty crimes.”

“This is the argument I keep on having. Every time there is some corruption angle and they say 'this is an Indian thing' I say 'you talk about India as if it is a crime-infested [place]. Look at you. You are a developed country, but why do you have prisons?' So a human is a human. Whether he is American, Brit, whoever.”