The game is in no way inferior now and I can say it is superior. Fielding has also improved after the advent of One-day matches. In the earlier days, there was nothing like coaching.
Coaching will help to rectify flaws, which essentially improve the standard of the game. The game has improved, but the sanctity and involvement is missing. Now a lot of youngsters have taken to cricket, making the selection process very competitive.
What do you have to say about the match-fixing allegations?
In our days, there was nothing like match-fixing. I don't believe there is something called as match-fixing. I think it is drama going on and nobody will be able to prove it. It is a tamasha and a sort of publicity gimmick.
Everybody is suspecting everyone. Some jealous people who can't stand cricketers' plush lifestyle have started all this. Now days, cricketers' make a lot of money by means of advertising and there is nothing wrong in it. I feel people like Kapil Dev are falsely implicated.
Who are your favourite batsmen and bowlers?
I liked the way Lala Amarnath, Dilip Vengsarkar and Sunil Gavaskar played. I even liked Vijay Hazare. He had a bit of starting problem. But once he got over initial hiccups, he was a fantastic player and his late cuts between slips were simply superb.
I liked Kapil Dev's attacking batting style. He was the right man for the right opportunity. I liked Gundappa Vishwanath's game too.
With regards to bowlers, E A S Prasanna and B S Chandrashekar were my favourites. Even Anil Kumble can't come to their level. I even liked Vinoo Mankad.
Do you think cricket is getting too much importance at the cost of other games?
Publicity and sponsorships have given cricket an edge over other games. One-day cricket, which is result oriented, has evoked tremendous interest among the masses. This is the reason why cricket is so popular.
Do you think One-day international is killing skillful cricket?
One day internationals have disadvantages. If you want to watch good and stylish cricket, you must go for Test matches. Since Test matches are not result oriented, they are not so popular.
In One-day games, the aim is to gather as much runs as possible by hook or by crook. But Test matches are not like that. Technique and temperament are given much importance.
How is the Karnataka State Cricket Association performing?
KSCA is doing extremely well with a lot of funds in hand. During my tenure, the Chinnaswamy stadium was constructed by borrowing Rs 4 crore as loan. The stadium has come up due to the efforts of people like M Chinnaswamy, S A Srinivasan and others.