Shashank Manohar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from October 2008 to September 2011, is remembered by players and board members for the way he had supervised the cleaning up of the Indian Premier League mess and bringing in more financial discipline. He talks to Sanjay Jog on the ongoing spot fixing scandal. Edited excerpts:
What is your take on the scandal and the subsequent arrests?
After completion of my tenure as BCCI president, I am in no way connected with the game or with the functioning of the board. However, in my view, after the names of three players came to light (in the scam), BCCI on its own should have approached the police and filed the complaint. Thereafter, the case should have been transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Whosoever is guilty should be punished.
In fact, I strongly feel that each and every match played in the IPL-6 session should be probed and the present investigations should not be restrict to only these three players.
BCCI has announced a one-member team to investigate the matter.
BCCI has no machinery to investigate. Therefore, I reiterate that BCCI should have filed a complaint to the police on its own. Suspension of players will not work. If the player is put behind bars even for a day, it will create a fear psychosis and become a deterrent to others. The world behaves on fear. Unless there is a fear psychosis, mere suspension is not enough.
How does BCCI treat betting?
BCCI has rules laid down and no player or administrator or official or any person connected in an official capacity can indulge in betting. Betting is an offence for which those involved can be punished. Nobody can lay a bet under the present rules. However, it is difficult to prove in a court of law.
BCCI proposes to appoint an officer with each IPL team, to have a direct watch. Would it help curb betting?
No one person can keep a watch on the movements of 20-plus people 24/7. The board will always have to approach government agencies to probe into illegalities, as it has no mechanism to do so.