Centurion: With the shadow of spot-fixing scandal looming large over Champions League Twenty20 beginning in Johannesburg on Friday, former India captain Anil Kumble today said ICC and CLT20 organisers should ensure strict anti-corruption measures during the 12-day event.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain termed the recent fixing scandal involving three Pakistani cricketers - captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer - as a "major issue" but said the game has the power and ability to withstand such crisis.
"Yes, this is a major issue that has happened but cricket is larger than any individual. Whatever we are today is because of the game. Just because of couple of bad apples you can`t see everyone with suspicious eyes," Kumble said on the eve of the show-piece event.
"But having said that you need to be vigilant as any game is susceptible. I am sure the International Cricket Council and the (CLT20) organisers will be very cautious on this matter and cricket will be played here in a highly competitive atmosphere," he added.
Under the watchful eyes of the ICC`s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), the glitzy CLT20 will begin at the Wanderers tomorrow with the Indian Premier League side Mumbai Indians taking on local team Highveld Lions in the opening encounter.
Interestingly, Kumble might have bid adieu to the international cricket nearly two years back but the same zeal and passion still exists in him as the old warhorse said he bowls his best every time.
"I am really enjoying playing competitive cricket for a month or one-and-a-half month. So, I devote all my energies and ensure that I compete well because I know when I am enjoying the competition I bowl my best," the veteran tweaker said.
Asked if he still misses playing for the country, Kumble said, "I think, I have done my bit for India. I am extremely satisfied with what I have achieved playing for India." Kumble, however, hinted at continue playing in the Indian Premier League if his body permits.
"I think IPL is another extension of going out there and enjoying yourself and also to keep going the passion of playing cricket. I am really enjoying playing 20-over cricket because it does not take much out of your body.
"It (IPL) gives a motivation to remain physically fit so that I can compete against the younger lot. At the moment my body is good and I am enjoying it but it`s still a long way to go," Kumble said.
Keen to end his three-year contract with the RCB on a glorious note, a physically and mentally fit Kumble said, "I have had a decent run getting into the preparation mode for the Champions League.”
"I have been training for the last one month although I didn`t have too much match practice. But in the couple of practice games we played here, the ball came out well from the hand. I am really looking forward to finish off my three-year association with Royal Challengers on a high."
The RCB skipper, however, said that achieving the target would not be a cake-walk and their opening match against Guyana would be crucial.
"All the groups are tough and in T20 you can`t predict anything. So we wanna get into the tournament in a confident mood. We have done well in practice games but if we can pull together in the first couple of games we will be on the track. The start is important," Kumble insisted.
He also agreed with Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, who recently said that the tracks in South Africa at this time of year will suit the slow bowlers.
"It`s the start of the season here. There is not much water on the field as they are still waiting for the first rain. The wicket is pretty dry and will be on the slower side.”
"Spinners will definitely come into action. Spinners have always done well in Twenty20 matches," Kumble said ahead of their opening encounter against Guyana here on Sunday.