Sachin Tendulkar said the authorities must take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue and ensure that credibility of the game is restored. The champion batsman, who retired from IPL after his side Mumbai Indians won the title recently, said as a cricketer he has always learnt to play in the true spirit of the game.
"It has always hurt me when the game of cricket is in the news for the wrong reasons. The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing. As cricketers we are always taught to go out, fight hard, give our very best and play in the true spirit of the game," Tendulkar said in a statement.
The milestone man of Indian cricket said it was important that the authorities get to the root of the problem. "During this difficult phase, I join every cricketer, from the boys in the maidans across the country to those who represent clubs, states and the country, who trust the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue.
"The faith reposed by the millions of fans should be justified and we owe it to them to ensure that Indian cricket is all about pride and joy," the statement added.
Tendulkar's statement on the spot-fixing scandal assumes great importance since none of the current Indian cricketers have spoken on the issue, since it broke out about two weeks ago.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has steadfastly refused to speak on the scandal, apparently under a gag order from the BCCI. Dhoni evaded questions on spot-fixing at the pre-departure press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday and also did the same at the media interaction in Birmingham yesterday ahead of Champions Trophy.
The only thing Dhoni said at the press conference in Birmingham was that Indian cricket's reputation was not "gone" and that some people were "slightly mentally weak" compared to others. He said that he will speak when the time was right.
With more and more cricket boards and state unit officials coming out in the open against BCCI President N Srinivasan's continuance over the last few days, it will be interesting to see whether more cricketers also start giving their views, taking a cue from Tendulkar.