'Saddened' Gilchrist demands life bans for 'IPL spot-fixers' if found guilty

Sydney, May 18 (ANI): Australian legend Adam Gilchrist has expressed his disappointment at the spot-fixing scandal of the Indian Premier League and has demanded life bans for the cricketers involved in the crime if they are found guilty.

Gilchrist, who plays for the Punjab Kings XI, became unwittingly involved as he faced an over allegedly 'thrown' by paceman S.Sreesanth, one of three Indian players charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy for rigging performances for the Rajasthan Royals, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Stating that ignorance and naivete can no longer be used as an excuse, Gilchrist said that if the players are found to have been involved in any implications where it is proven that they have handled illegal bookmakers' bets, then should be forced to face the harshest penalty by being banned for life.

Gilchrist said that if the results are found to be true, then it will be a sad day for the game, adding that spot-fixing is one of the most disrespectful things that anyone could do as a fellow cricketer as they are affording disrespect to their peers by taking part in the crime, which has no excuse in this day and age.

His comments came as the Australian Cricketers Association chief Paul Marsh said that its members were reporting in increasing numbers that they had seen things in games, not just in the IPL, which made them suspicious, adding that the Twenty20 format lends itself to these activities.

Marsh said that he is confident that the Australian players are not involving themselves in these activities, adding that he is heartened by the fact that there has been a marked increase in players coming to them to discuss these issues.

Former Test paceman Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan are accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from blackmarket bookmakers to concede large numbers of runs from pre-determined overs, the report added. (ANI)

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