Mumbai: The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) on Saturday stopped short of confirming if paceman Morne Morkel was approached by a suspicious element in the UAE leg of the IPL and remained confident that the current edition of the T20 league will not be hit by any off-field controversy. (Governing Council Lauds UAE Success)
There were reports that after being approached by a suspicious person, Kolkata Knight Riders' South African pacer Morkel had alerted the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of the IPL. (Full Schedule)
Asked about the same at the IPL Governing Council meeting here, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said they are awaiting a detailed report.
"The anti-corruption unit will take care of the matter and their periodicals will come. It is always part and parcel of the governing council discussion. We are awaiting their detailed report, if there is anything. They are independent to work, ICC and BCCI anti-corruption unit," Patel said. (Full Coverage)
Sunil Gavaskar, the interim BCCI President for IPL affairs, said the meeting was to take stock of what happened in the United Arab Emirates leg.
Gavaskar had earlier said he wanted the people to remember this IPL only for cricket and asked how he can ensure that, the batting legend said, "The human nature being what it is, nobody can give any guarantees. We have put some measures in place and certainly the way the UAE leg went, it has given us some confidence, if it carries on the same way we will have this India-leg also free from any off-field controversies." (UAE to Host First Leg of IPL)
"That is what we are hoping for. I believe that the presence of the integrity officers is evidently a big plus. It is a big plus because earlier anybody could call in case there were any approachers but I don't think people were confident about it,now the integrity officer travels with every team. So the younger player or the most susceptible sometimes, is the uninitiated player. We have given them all the education that is necessary," Gavaskar added.
"Without the education education programme, you will not be allowed to participate in IPL. Even the replacement players have to undergo the education programme, only after which they can participate in IPL. We are taking all those measures and we are encouraged by what has happened in UAE," Gavaskar said.
Asked if it was right to conduct the matches in UAE, which has had troubles in past with spot fixing and betting, Gavaskar was quick to defend the decision saying," If you go by that logic then you should not have matches in India, because even in India there has been issues of match fixing.
"Two or three people who have compromised should not blacken the name of the entire fraternity. Similarly there have been instances in the UAE (in the past) but they have not even been proven. So without that proof having been there, it is just a perception.
"I don't think it is fair to besmirch the name of a country. UAE has been magnificent in the way they have made all the efforts. The co-operation that the anti-corruption unit of BCCI as well as the ICC got from the UAE police authority, UAE government, it was stupendous to say the least."
Gavaskar also expressed his satisfaction over the pitches in UAE.
"It was important to have good pitches. If you get good cricket pitches, you get good cricket. I am hoping over here also it would be the same. Generally, because we are coming to end of the season, the pitches can be a little bit tired. Therefore we might not always get a great cricket pitch.
"Pitches in UAE were very well balanced. New ball bowlers would get something, batsmen could play their shots. One of the reasons for some of the small scores from team were simply that the boundaries were longer. We are cognizant of the fact that we need good cricket pitches and hopefully the message has gone to all the centres," he added.
Asked about the compensation package that would be paid to the franchises for the shifting of some of the matches to UAE, Gavaskar said, "It will be once the IPL is over that is when we will know exactly. We have to take into account all the considerations of all the factors, the expenses."
IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal dismissed reports that the Chennai eliminator game could be shifted to Mumbai.
The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is scheduled to hold the first Qualifier on May 27 followed by the eliminator the next day.
The second qualifier is scheduled at the Wankhede Stadium here on May 30 and will be followed by final match at the same ground on June 1.