'If you love the game, you should not take that path' - Virender Sehwag opens up on match-fixing in cricket

‘If you love the game, you should not take that path’ – Virender Sehwag opens up on match-fixing in cricket

Sehwag, who is the only Indian batsman to have scored two triple hundreds, also spoke on doping.

Virender Sehwag (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP)

He had arrived at a time when Indian cricket not only needed a robust opener but also a recovery from hard times, thanks to the match-fixing controversy of 2000. Virender Sehwag’s performance in the national team over the years fulfilled both the requirements as India went on to become a competitive side under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly that had Sehwag as one of its batting pillars.

Recently, Sehwag, now a former cricketer, appealed to both players and administrators to contribute towards keeping the game clean. The 41-year-old was speaking at the MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture at the annual BCCI awards in Mumbai on Sunday and there he made it clear that the players should never ignore somebody coming up with a corrupt approach.

‘If you play well, money will follow’: Virender Sehwag

“If you love this game, then you should not go on that path. If you go to that path, it means you don’t love this game, that means you are only playing for money,” Sehwag said.

“If you play well, money will follow. So, don’t go (that path). If somebody contacts you, please tell BCCI and the ICC, that is important. If you ignore, he will go to somebody else and that somebody else might do stupid things. Make sure that you inform,” he said.

Despite several mechanisms at play to prevent corruption in the game, cricket has continued to witness dark phases. Last year, ace Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan admitted his failure over reporting a corrupt approach by a suspected Indian bookie. The player was subsequently banned for two years though one year of that was suspended later.

Sehwag, who is the only Indian batsman to have scored two triple hundreds, also spoke on doping stressing on the need for greater awareness among the players. Promising youngster Prithvi Shaw recently served an eight-month ban for having failed dope test and he paid the price for not being aware enough.

“I can understand a lot of cricketers are doing fitness (regimens)… but I don’t think that you can have anything and build your muscles, which can help you to perform in batting or bowling,” Sehwag said.

“So please keep yourself available for anti-doping (tests). We have seen a couple of young cricketers banned by BCCI for having banned substances. It’s the BCCI’s responsibility also to ensure that awareness starts from the under-16 and under-19 levels,” he added.

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