Mumbai, May 31 (ANI): Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has described recent developments in Indian cricket over the last fortnight - the spot-fixing charges against three Rajasthan Royals players and betting charges against top Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan - as "shocking and disappointing".
Tendulkar is the first current Indian cricketer to comment on the issue, via a statement, and he said the sport needed to repay the faith the fans have invested in the game.
"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," Tendulkar said.
"As cricketers, we are always taught to go out, fight hard, give our very best and play in the true spirit of the game. During this difficult phase, I join every cricketer, from the boys in the maidaans [fields] 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," he added.
"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," Tendulkar said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is returning home after state visits to Japan and Thailand, also said he hoped that politics would be kept separate from sport.
Dr. Singh said: "Not prudent to comment while investigations are underway," he said. "I hope that sport doesn't get mixed up with politics."
Former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman had also said the issues of corruption in the IPL were "distressing".
"It's very disappointing. The last two weeks have been quite distressing and a feeling of anguish was definitely there. I hope the various investigations done by the police in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai come to a logical conclusion, and more importantly the cause of this problem is erased. It is very important because just for some greedy players, the credibility of the rest of the players should not be affected. I think it is a very important issue and I am sure it will be cleaned up very soon," Laxman said.
Captain M.S. Dhoni had said in Birmingham on Thursday that he did not feel that the reputation of Indian cricket had "gone" as a result of the scandals in the IPL. Dhoni had said he would not speak on the issue until the time was right because he wanted to keep the squad shielded from distractions during the Champions Trophy. (ANI)