South Africa’s Test captain, AB de Villiers, has opened up about the match-fixing saga that rocked the Indian Premier League, stating that he had never seen any indication of fixing, but conceded that corruption does shadow the game.
Speaking about the controversial issues that plagued the IPL and forced the suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, De Villiers has written in his autobiography that he had no knowledge of either of the cases when the news first came.
While stating his views on corruption, the 32-year old admitted that ‘it is human nature that where there is money to be made, there will always be those prepared to go any lengths to pocket some for themselves”.
He went on to say that the International Cricket Council has set up ‘proper systems’ along with national bodies to sniff out any instances of corruption in the game, but insisted that it is a hard task to find out players who are involved with betting syndicates and indulge in spot-fixing.
Expressing his personal opinion on match-fixing, he said that he ‘has never seen any indication of match-fixing and, if I did, I would report it immediately’.
‘I really hate to think that players with or against me could be deliberately distorting the course of the game for their own financial gain. I simply can’t understand it’.
This year, two new teams, Gujarat Lions and Pune Supergiants, were introduced in the IPL to replace the two suspended teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Prior to their suspension, the Chennai franchise was the most successful team in the IPL with a win percentage of over 60.
In May 2013, Mumbai Police arrested Gurunath Meiyappan on charges of placing bets and being in contact with bookies. The very next year, the Supreme Court gave clear directives to the Chennai franchise to remove N Srinivasan from his top spot. In July 2015, the RM Lodha committee suspended the owners of both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for a period of two years.
De Villiers has been a stellar performer in the IPL, scoring 3257 runs in 120 matches with three centuries to his credit. He initially played for the Delhi Daredevils, before being bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2011 auctions.