Rahul Dravid carries a distinct image of a very sensible man. Perhaps, after Sachin Tendulkar, he falls under the category of the most liked cricketers of recent times. He is a truly a gentleman, but he has also got the guts to raise his voice.
He was one of the first players who had shown anger and grief publicly, when a few players playing under his captaincy at Rajasthan Royals were found indulged in spot fixing. It is his honesty and brave attitude that leads to immense media coverage for whatever he says.
He has clearly stated that respect and regards for cricket might decline, owing to the spot fixing and betting scandals, and that if this happens, it will be a big blow for cricket in this country. Well said, sir. This is what a common man in this cricket mad country feels.
This story is running all over the media, but I intend to quote the headings given by two very popular newspapers published from the capital. “Enough is enough” is the caption printed by one. The other newspaper’s heading says, “Board must maintain the reliability of cricket”.
Talking to ESPNCricinfo, Dravid said that such incidents – when players are seen in the headlines of first page of the newspapers instead of the sports page – will not prove helpful. He further added that there are a lot of fans and other people who give total regard to the game and it is only due to this appreciation that players exist. The administrators are also there on account of these fans and cricketers. Therefore, it is vital to maintain the reliability and credibility of not only the game or board, but the government as well.
Fully supporting the stand taken by Dravid, veteran leg spinner Prasanna has said BCCI should take the observations of Rahul Dravid seriously, and should improve its operations. Prasanna also said nothing has changed in the board from the very beginning. It is high time that the board, while improving themselves, should work for the improvement of cricket.
Another ex-cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar, has also supported the firm views expressed by Dravid, and opined that the administrators never react to such a situation. This is because they know jolly well that the fans will never go away from the game, come what may. They are aware of the obsession of the people for cricket.
I personally feel that these are not simply statements given by cricketers but an awakening call for the entire nation. It should be converted into a mission. A mission for the good of the game!