The envelop containing 13 names of the cricketers was never opened by the court: Thakur

The envelop containing 13 names of the cricketers was never opened by the court: Thakur

Anurag Thakur said that no name is bigger than the game.

BCCI President Anurag Thakur
Former BCCI President Anurag Thakur. (Photo credit SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur said that the names of all the 13 players alleged to have been involved in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal should be out in the open. The names of the individuals were submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope by the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee in Feb 2014.

Thakur also said that had the BCCI been more serious in punishing the guilty cricketers and administrators, those who were involved in spot-fixing, the board wouldn’t have found themselves in this hot water. Thakur was sacked as the BCCI president by the Supreme Court in January this year.

No name is bigger than the game: Thakur

“For me, individuals are not important. The institution is important. I am not bothered about any ‘A’ or ‘B’ player. I am only concerned about BCCI as an institution. The envelope containing the name of the cricketers was never opened by the Court, which means the issue from where the entire episode started wasn’t resolved. But other issues against the BCCI were opened,” Thakur told TOI in an interview. “If anyone is involved in match-fixing or unethical practice, there must be a harsher punishment because no name is bigger than the game.”

Thakur added, “Certain A, B or C players are roaming free after so many years. They are sitting in TV studios. The same TV channels and newspapers which wrote against them on fixing and betting, they have called them cricket experts. So, there has to be some law and harsher punishment for such individuals and activities.”

The BJP parliamentarian from Hamirpur is confident about his ‘National Sports Ethics Commission Bill’, which he soon intends to introduce in the Lok Sabha as a private member’s bill. “I am approaching Parliament with this bill. The bill aims to curb the menace of match-fixing, age fraud and sexual harassment in sports. It could be introduced in the winter or the budget session. The moment it is introduced, the debate will start. Betting, however, is not a part of it,” he said.