New Delhi: IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla on Tuesday welcomed the government's proposal to enact a new law under which spot-fixing and match fixing would fall in the category of criminal offences.
The IPL last week found itself engulfed in a sensational spot-fixing scandal after three Rajasthan Royals players were arrested for their role in spot-fixing, following which Law Minister Kapil Sibal emphasised on the need for a separate law to deal with the menace of fixing in cricket.
"Law Minister Kapil Sibal has expressed his opinion to enact a law by which stringent measures would be adopted on match-fixing and it's a welcome step because it's not just about cricket, it is about other sports also where betting is taking place," Shukla said today.
"The government is thinking on those lines and we would welcome that," he added.
Shukla said that cricket should remain a "gentleman's" game.
"We want that cricket should remain a gentleman's game. Most of the preventive measures have been taken. And apart from that BCCI is one body which has not pardoned its players who have been caught in match-fixing earlier.
"The other boards of the world have given exceptions to their players but BCCI has not given exception to any players. And they are still facing a ban. The BCCI is very strict as far as match-fixing is concerned."
A special cell of the Delhi police arrested S Sreesanth and his teammates -- Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- in Mumbai last Thursday for indulging in spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches as per arrangements with bookies, who have underworld connections abroad. Shukla said handling the bookie aspect lies with the police.
"The bookie part is altogether different, and to be looked after by the police because BCCI is not a police agency."
He said the Board is committed towards weeding out corruption from the sport.
"BCCI is trying its level best to curb this problem, to weed out such an element and to cleanse the game completely and it is totally committed for it.
"The (BCCI) working committee has also decided to give strong possible punishment to those players who are found involved in match-fixing. We are not going to spare them.
Talking about betting further, he said, "This is taking place throughout the country and it is not only about IPL. IPL is only for one and half months, what about the rest 10 and half months of the year.
Asked about the Board being pulled up by the Supreme Court for irregularities in organising the cash-rich T20 league, he said, "the BCCI will go by the advice of Supreme Court."