Veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Monday joined the ranks of detractors of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament, and said that cricketers being an inspiration to the younger generation should strive for setting higher moral standards.
"I have no interest in the IPL and never have I made an effort to watch it. But now some of my close aides have told me that betting and gambling is rampant in the IPL.
I was deeply upset after hearing this because the Indian cricketers are an inspiration to the youngsters and if they are exposed to such betting and gambling because of the IPL, what effect would it have on their minds?" said Hazare.
" It is a matter of great concern that IPL is becoming a source for betting and I have even heard of exotic dances in the parties," he added.
The IPL has over the last few days been caught in a slew of controversies.
First, there was a sting operation done by a TV channel that showed IPL players indulging in spot fixing. Then Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan's ban from the Wankhede Stadium for five years following a scuffle with the guards.
Then followed the arrest and subsequent release of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Luke Pomersbach on charges of molesting an Indian-American woman at the ITC Maurya Sheraton Hotel in Delhi.
The latest controversy was the rave party incident featuring Pune Warriors players Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell. (ANI)