Hope law will act as deterrent to match-fixing, says Anil Kumble

Bangalore: Former Indian captain Anil Kumble on Wednesday hoped that the law government is trying to enact to deal with match and spot-fixing will act as a deterrent to the menace.

"The government is making efforts to put in place the new standalone law to deal with `unfair cricket practices` and I only hope it acts a deterrent to curb the menace," Kumble told reporters on the sidelines of KSCA`s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations here.

Amidst the uproar over IPL spot-fixing, Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal on May 26 had said that the government would make efforts to put in place the law by August.

However, Kumble said cricket administrators can only take certain measures and make life difficult for people getting involved in match-fixing, but cannot conduct surveillance on each individual, 365 days and 24/7.

"At best we can make really tough for people to get involved (in match-fixing)," he added.

On BCCI President N Srinivasan`s comeback bid, Kumble said the debate should not be on an individual, but on how to bring back cricket back on track.

"The administrators should put their act together and seek legal opinions in terms of treating match-fixing as a criminal offence. That is the only way to deter players from getting involved in such offences," he said.

Kumble further said corruption has not only hit cricket, but also affected every walk of life and hence it was important to enforce strict laws to instill fear in people`s mind.

"But inspite of that (enforcing strict laws) people get involved in match-fixing, they need to be punished," he said.

Replying to a query, Kumble denied that match-fixing allegations and BCCI mess had sullied cricket`s image because the players, who had witnessed unsavoury developments in 1999-2000, reposed faith back in the system.

"I think for cricket to be what it is, administrators should have to take certain measures, but at the same time keep a watch on what happens on the field," he said.

Kumble said he was glad that things happening on the field have been good so far with Indian cricket doing well, which is something reassuring.

Kumble said he cannot comment on the Mumbai High Court verdict declaring as illegal and unconstitutional the BCCI`s two-member probe panel set up to look into spot-fixing and betting charges in the IPL tournament because he hasn`t gone through the order.

"Yes, there have been trying times - what happened in IPL and subsequently with regard to certain issues with the BCCI. But at the same time you need to look at the order and take cognisance of what the order says and then come (back before the media). I haven`t seen actually what is the order so I can`t comment much other than this," he said.