Sunil Gavaskar has pointed out that several matches played on Indian grounds are potential security risks with unwanted people freely roaming the playing arena. Gavaskar pointed out two crucial last-four Indian Premier League matches played at the Feroz Shah Kotla on May 21 and 22 had people in the ground who should not have been there.
Gavaskar even blasted his co-commentators who wander into the playing arena probably just to show off and tell people of his presence. "They just go there because they want to be seen, they want to sort of have a chat but that's not on," he said. The original Little Master was speaking exclusively to NDTV on Monday evening and was replying to a question on the "real" identity of Chennai Super Kings' Gurunath Meiyappan. The son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India president N. Srinivasan is facing betting charges by the Mumbai Police. Read: Cops recover mobile phone from Gurunath Meiyappan's plush yacht
Always known as Chennai's team principal, Gurunath, who has suddenly been disowned by India Cements, the owner of CSK, had an "ALL AREA" pass by virtue of being a "team owner." Gavaskar pointed out that matches at many venues in India had unwanted people right inside the playing arena. "At Kotla there were people all over the ground. In many matches in India, like the IPL, there are unwanted elements who are potential security threats," Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar even slammed fellow TV commentators for walking onto the pitch without any business. "I sometimes watch from the commentators box and wonder why have they gone to the ground? They are neither doing a pitch nor a toss report. So why should he be there right in the middle? May be he is trying to show off his presence," Gavaskar said.
"I learnt from Richie Benaud (the former Australian leg-spinner and one of the world's most famous commentators) never to venture inside the field if I have no business to be there. He said never to disturb a blade of grass and I still follow that. But many of us walk in without any job," Gavaskar said, suggesting that there is very little security in place to restrict unwanted people at cricket matches. Some members had asked Srinivasan to quit: BCCI sources
The former Indian Test captain called for stricter controls for access to playing areas and dressing rooms. At a time when the BCCI is reeling under allegations of match-fixing, Gavaskar wanted the accreditation authorities to be stringent in their methods of distributing cards. Recently, Kirti Azad pointed out that a particular Delhi District Cricket Association official, with a dubious reputation for fixing matches, had an "all area" access card during the just-concluded IPL championship.