The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) slapped a life ban on Madhya Pradesh all-rounder TP Sudhindra, five years of suspension for Uttar Pradesh medium-pacer Shalabh Srivastava and one year each for Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali on Saturday for their involvement in spot fixing.
The disciplinary committee headed by BCCI president N Srinivasan took action after considering the report of its anti-corruption chief Ravi Sawani. The one-man committee was formed to probe into a sting operation by a television channel which showed players open to spot-fixing and talking about their financial deals in the Indian Premier League. The panel found Sudhindra guilty of spot fixing, Srivastava for agreeing to spot fix and the others for misdemeanours. Sudhindra agreed in the sting operation to indulge in spot fixing during a local match.
Former India cricketers Amay Khurasiya and Madan Lal, who knew Sudhindra and others well, welcomed the Board’s stance. Khurasiya, who was part of India’s 1999 World Cup squad is Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association’s (MPCA) chief coach. Madan Lal, the 1983 World Cupper was 28-year-old Sudhindra’s coach for rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) outfit Delhi Giants.
“It’s a right call. Players who cheat the game and its spectators cannot be spared at any cost. Cricket cannot afford to have these guys on the roster,” Khurasiya told SUNDAY MiD DAY. Khurasiya added: “Cricket has come to an end for Sudhindra while others still stand a chance of coming back. I have been watching Sudhindra for the last five to six years and this was the last thing I expected of him. I am sad, but at the same time, I have to admit that the player must be involved in wrongdoing,” an angry Khurasiya said.
Asked whether there is any hope for the banned all-rounder, the 41-year-old coach said: “He is responsible for the mess and won’t be welcomed by any cricket association again. Now, even if he manages to reduce the punishment, he won’t be taken into the fold which effectively means his career is over as far as cricket is concerned.”
Madan Lal said: “The BCCI had to take a tough call. I have coached Sudhindra. He was a decent cricketer. I am not sure whether he had the quality to play for India though,” said the 61-year-old former India bowler. “The decision should serve as a warning to those cricketers who adopt unfair means. Had BCCI not taken a tough call, India could have faced a situation like Pakistan which is unwanted,” Madan Lal added.
Meanwhile, according to an MPCA official, Sudhindra was a gentleman on and off the field. “He never looked like he would do such things, but you never know,” the official said.