Scam has tarnished game, says Sarvate

Published: Monday, January 3, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Rajkot: Chandu Sarvate may not be among India's all time greats, but he most certainly has his place in the history of Indian cricket. He may have played fewer Tests than he should have but he will always be remembered for his last wicket stand with Setu Banerjee when the pair added 200 and odd runs against Surrey in 1946.

He was an all-rounder who could bat with aplomb and bowl with a lot of guile. His knowledge of the game, even today, is something, which, unfortunately, is not taken into consideration by the bigwigs of the Board. His views on the game, players and issues like match-fixing are as clear and pure as can be.

To him cricket is next to God and something that should not be cheated. "Don Bradman is undoubtedly the greatest," he spoke to Thatscricket.com in an exclusive interview on matters related to cricket. Excerpts of the interview:

What is your reaction to the present scenario in Indian cricket?

It is really sad and has affected the image of Indian cricket and its credibility to a great extent. But now I hope and I am sure the game will emerge stronger from this position. We had the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is also taking all possible steps. The Code of Conduct too will be there so that the bookies will be careful and players will think twice before meeting them or talking to them.

Would you subscribe to the view that Azhar and Jadeja were really involved in the match-fixing scam?

They were the captain and the vice-captain and even the CBI has broughtout few evidences and that's a bad thing.

Do you think that matches can be fixed?

Over the years, we all have had enough evidence of players under performing or not playing to their full potential, we believe that something is wrong. You tell me if that is not the case then why are the bookies after the players, in fact the bookies had a strong hold. It is nice that the CBI and the Board did their job well and that is nice.

Do you think the role played by the BCCI so far is convincing?

I think the CBI investigation should have been conducted much, much earlier. I would say much earlier than even the Chandrachud Commission of Inquiry. Because there was nothing in the Chandrachud report and he gave a clean chit to everyone. He had no investigative powers and he merely asked the players and others whom he met that did they know anything about match-fixing and so on.

Obviously everybody said 'no' and they received a clean chit. It was as simple as that. We know that he had no investigative powers but then he should have said that further investigation is needed. That wasn't to be and that was a setback. Anyway much has come out and a few have got punished also.

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