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‘Will be happy to take up job’

Sunil Gavaskar

Calcutta: The Supreme Court on Thursday proposed Sunil Gavaskar’s name as interim BCCI president and the former India captain said he will be “honoured” and “happy” to adhere to the directives of the highest court of the land.

“First and foremost, if the highest court suggests something, you have to do so but that has to be on record. I am currently contracted with BCCI as a commentator. But if Supreme Court wants me to do that, I will do it,” Gavaskar said.

“When the Supreme Court asks you, there is no question about it, there is not much you can do and I will be happy to do what they ask me to do”, he said.

Gavaskar said he is ready to take up the challenge.

“As an opening batsman, you have to be prepared for all kinds of challenges. You have to play on all kinds of pitches… You are always prepared for a challenge mentally and physically. Even today, although I am quite happy to be away from the limelight, I am prepared to do what is needed if the Supreme Court wants.

Gavaskar, however, said he would wait for the order.

“I will consider it, it will be a huge honour that the Supreme Court feels I will be good enough to handle the job. But we will have to wait and watch until tomorrow to know in which direction it is going. Let’s not jump the gun.

The Supreme Court also proposed the suspension of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) along with Rajasthan Royals (RR) from IPL 7 till the pendency of the betting and spot-fixing case.

“It is sad. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been champions of the IPL. In 2008, RR were the champions and CSK won three times. They have brought a lot of joy to the fans, so this proposal will make cricket fans sad.

Former Board president Shashank Manohar on Wednesday demanded the suspension of the IPL VII till a thorough probe by the CBI is completed, but Gavaskar wondered how that would help the game.

“In a situation like this, you will have different opinions coming through. You will have to sit down and think about it. In my view, I don’t know how the suspension of the IPL is going to help. When the fixing scandal broke out in 1999-2000, nearly 14 years ago, nobody said ‘stop cricket’. The game carried on.

“We need to put measures in place to ensure that these things never happen again. Even then, it will be difficult to guarantee that these things won’t happen again because it is about human nature, and human nature can succumb to a lot of things. After last year’s experience… There are anti-corruption officials available for every franchise. That makes a huge difference because the younger players will now know whom to approach to report such an incident.”

Manohar, on Thursday, had called for suspension of the IPL VII.

“A thorough probe needs to be done by the CBI as the canvas of the activities extends throughout the country. In view of the serious allegations regarding betting, spot-fixing and match fixing, the public at large has lost its faith in IPL games,” Manohar had said.

“It is my considered opinion that until the faith of the people in the integrity of the game is restored, the IPL tournament for the year 2014 should be suspended. As far as I know, that decision has not been revoked. The decision to shift IPL matches to the Middle-East will further tarnish the already murky waters surrounding the tournament,” he said.

The move will erode the credibility of Indian cricket, he said.

Asked about his views on Srinivasan, who didn’t resign even after Supreme Court’s observation on Wednesday, Gavaskar said: “Look, I think we need to understand that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I would not be able to pass judgement on that. It is not my area. It is a completely different issue on which I have zero experience.”

Gavaskar, born on July 10, 1949 in Bombay, is a legend on his own right. Making his Test debut for India at the age of 21, he went on to play 125 matches and amassed 10, 122 runs at an average of 51.12. In a Test career spanning 16 years, he scored 34 centuries. He made his ODI debut on July 13, 1974 and played 108 matches, scoring 3092 runs at an average of 35.13.