Bangalore, Aug 7: When Rahul Dravid first heard of IPL spot-fixing, he was angry, sad, disappointed and felt bad. And in order to root out this menace, the former India captain feels it is necessary to make it a criminal offence that will "create fear for people".
S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, all from Rajasthan Royals franchise, were arrested by Delhi police during this year's Indian Premier League for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing. Dravid was the captain of RR team.
Speaking about IPL spot-fixing at length in an interview to "ESPNcricinfo" website, Dravid called for education and counselling at a junior level to ward off fixing threat to the game.
"My personal belief is that education and counselling at a junior level is really important... I know that India has its own ACSU and even for Ranji Trophy teams this education is given. So I don't think only education can work, (we have to) police it and have the right laws and ensure that people, when they indulge in these kind of activities, are actually punished. People must see that there are consequences to your actions. That will create fear for people," Dravid said on Wednesday.
"For example, look back on the doping in cycling. Everyone knows it's wrong and it's frightening having read a little about it and the number of cyclists who were doing it. Surely everyone knows it's wrong... So the only way that people are going to get that fear is if they know the consequences to these actions and the law that will come into play. It has got to be a criminal offence," he added.
When asked about what was his reaction when he first heard of RR players arrested for spot-fixing allegations, he said: "There is not really one emotion at a time like that. You go between anger, sadness, disappointment, you feel bad."
Dravid felt bad for the fans who follow the game in India so passionately.
"Especially in India, in fact not only in India, there are so many passionate fans of this game, who truly love the game, you can read and hear about the sacrifices they make to be able to watch us play cricket matches, wherever, in different parts of the world. Waking up at wee hours, following the game, writing about the game on the web.
"Today, because of the web you get to see just how many fans this game actually has and how passionate they actually are. You feel angry for them. You feel angry, when things happen, that you have let down people like that, you've let down the real fan and you've let down the people who truly care about this game and give you unqualified support, and that's where you feel that sense of anger," he said.