Rahul Dravid: Make spot-fixing a crime, players must fear police
The former Indian captain refers to cycling and says how athletes do not fear dope tests as much as they fear police and going to jail. Says education and awareness important but criminal penalty best deterrent to check cheating in cricket.
Former India cricketer Rahul Dravid says match and spot-fixing should be made criminal offences and is sure that this would be a major deterrent for cricketers contemplating making a quick buck.
The former Indian captain, who has been made a prosecution witness in allegations of spot-fixing against three of his Rajasthan Royals' teammates, feels that educating youngsters can help them keep off unscrupulous activities but adds that it may not serve the complete purpose. (Also read: Dravid says players guilty of spot-fixing have cheated selectors)
"My personal belief is that education and counseling at a junior level is really important. (However) I don't think only education can work, policing it and having the right laws and ensuring that people when they indulge in this kind of activities are actually punished," Dravid told ESPNCricinfo. "People must see that there are consequences to your actions. That will create fear for people." (Also watch: Is it time for a players' union in India)
Referring to recent action against cyclists who were accused of doping, Dravid said that effective results in the sport was achieved because of police action.
"The only people those cyclists were scared of was not the testers, not the authority, they were scared of the police. You read all the articles, the only guys they were scared of was the police and going to jail. It's got to be a criminal offence," he said.
While three of Dravid's colleagues -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- are in the eye of a storm for allegedly spot-fixing in this year's Indian Premier League, the 40-year-old with an immaculate career however does not wish to pass any judgment on them.
"The case is still on and I don't want to make any judgement on whether people are guilty or not and I think everyone has a right to be innocent until he's proven guilty and I'm glad the police is going ahead and doing what needs to be done and taking it to its logical conclusion," he said.
Dravid had said that it saddens him to see cricket in bad light and that the credibility of the Indian Board should be kept intact. Known the world over for being a true gentleman and with over 24,000 runs in international cricket, 'The Wall' seems to only have the best interest of clean cricket in his mind.