Jaipur: Rahul Dravid says the spirit of the game has become more “relevant and important” in the wake of the IPL spot-fixing scandal that plunged Indian cricket into a credibility crisis.
One of the most disciplined statesmen of modern-day cricket, Dravid said: “In times like these, when the game is facing big challenges and some of the players get involved (in corruption), the spirit of the game becomes more relevant and important.
“It is important that you play within rules and in the spirit of the game. Selections should be a consequence of what you are doing, but not the goal. Winning and succeeding is not important if you play foul.”
Dravid’s former Rajasthan Royals and India teammate Sreesanth, along with Ankeet Chavan, were recently handed life bans by the BCCI for involvement in spot-fixing, a few months after being in jail.
A verdict on another accused cricketer, Ajit Chandila, who was also a part of Rajasthan Royals, is awaited.
Dravid spoke highly of the initiative taken by two former England captains.
“In the late 1990s, two distinguished MCC members (and ex-England captains), Ted Dexter and Lord Colin Cowdrey, sought to enshrine the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ in the game’s laws. Their initiative proved successful when the current Code of Laws was introduced in 2000,” he said.
Moving on to their upcoming semi-final match in the ongoing Champions League T20, the Rajasthan Royals captain said his team would stick to their normal routine.
“We know things would become more difficult in the knockout stage because all teams are good having reached this far. However, there would be no special preparations and we want to stick to our normal routine.”
Asked how young players such as Rahul Shukla, Vikramjeet Malik and Pravin Tambe were able to deliver whenever needed, Dravid gave all the credit to his teammates and support staff.
“It is up to the boys to deliver. No matter how many strategies you plan, if a bowler bowls on the leg-side when it’s an off-side field, it won’t work.
“It is for the boys to perform on the field. Look at Pravin Tambe... We talked to him and wanted him to work on certain areas.
“He went back after IPL, worked hard on them and is doing so well now. We have to be smart enough to plan.
“We are fortunate to have people like Paddy Upton, Monty Desai and Bharucha, who form a good support staff. It is a good wicket here and we have the players who can excel on such a lively surface.”