New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar Friday described the spot fixing scandal that has rocked the Indian Premier League (IPL) as "shocking and disappointing".
Speaking out for the first time on an issue that has taken cricket by storm, Tendulkar said: "It has always hurt me when the game of cricket is in the news for the wrong reasons.
"The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing."
"As cricketers we are always taught to go out, fight hard, give our very best and play in the true spirit of the game," the iconic player said in a statement.
The ace batsman urged the authorities "to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue".
Police have arrested three IPL players, including Indian pacer S. Sreesanth, as well as Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh and the Indian cricket board president's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan for spot fixing and betting in cricket.
Describing it as a "difficult phase" in Indian cricket, Tendulkar said the faith reposed by millions of fans should be justified.
"During this difficult phase, I join every cricketer, from the boys in the maidans across the country to those who represent clubs, states and the country, who trust the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue.
"The faith reposed by the millions of fans should be justified and we owe it to them to ensure that Indian cricket is all about pride and joy," he added.
Tendulkar, who has announced his retirement from IPL, played for Mumbai Indians, which won this year's tournament.