IPL spot-fixing scandal leaves cricketing fraternity stunned

New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) The cricketing world was in shock after Delhi Police late Wednesday night arrested Rajasthan Royals players Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila in Mumbai for alleged spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Besides the three players, Delhi Police also arrested seven bookies from Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad in connection with spot-fixing.

Batting great Sunil Gavaskar was baffled by the revelations.

"I am completely shocked. The IPL rewards cricketers quite handsomely, some of them are paid over handsomely. Despite that, some players are tempted to take the wrong route is shocking. Having said that, we need to wait for the investigations. You are innocent until you proven guilty," said Gavaskar.

Former India cricketer Kirti Azad compared the incident with the one involving Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, who were jailed in England on spot-fixing charges.

"At this point, I remember the England case. The Pakistanis were given harsh penalties. Here the BCCI (Indian cricket board) should not take care of the matter on their own. It should be handled by the police. And if found guilty, those involved should be given a life ban," said Azad.

Former India wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani said: "Yet another black day for Indian cricket. You are cheating yourself, your country. It is totally unacceptable."

Sharad Pawar, a former BCCI and International Cricket Council president, welcomed BCCI's decision to suspend the three cricketers and called for harsh punishment if the allegations are proved right.

"BCCI will take stern action against the suspended cricketers. Suspending them is the correct action but it should not stop here. A thorough should be conducted into the matter. If the charges are proved true, they should be banned for life," said Pawar.

Former and current players outside India too were upset after hearing the news.

"Another very sad day for cricket!!," tweeted Aaron Finch, who is leading Pune Warriors in the ongoing IPL.

"Match fixing controversy again harming the game we all cherish so much," posted Sunrisers Hyderabad's Australia coach Tom Moody.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said: "Spot Fixing in the IPL... Not the most surprising news I have heard today."

"Sreesanth always in the news for the wrong reasons," said Albie Morkel, member of Chennai Super Kings.

Former Rajasthan Royals coach and captain Shane Warne's initial reaction was of complete shock

"What the hell is this about the Royals in the IPL ? Are the reports True or false?" tweeted Warne.

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