‘IPL is a serious competition’, says Gautam Gambhir

Image courtesy of: Times of India

Gambhir believes the IPL’s image should not be tainted by the actions of a few individuals

The recent match-fixing scandal has dented the integrity and everything else the Indian Premier League (IPL) stands for, but India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir believes there is still hope for the tournament and that people are being too quick to judge the competition based on the actions of a handful of corrupt individuals.

Speaking exclusively to NDTV, Gambhir noted that Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and all the others involved in the match-fixing scandal should be made to answer for their crimes.

“A handful of people who do something wrong doesn’t carry the image of the entire sport,” Gambhir said. “There are still millions of people who wants to go out there and play the game and represent the country.

“If some handful of people do something wrong that doesn’t mean cricket is dirty. There are lot of people who wants to do well.”

While the IPL may look like nothing more than a joke to many people, Gambhir feels the tournament has become a serious event in the cricket calender, but added that steps like banning cheerleaders is not the way to rid corruption from the sport.

“[The] IPL is a serious competition and not what you do off the field,” he said. “When I joined KKR, my only thinking was to see the team do well on the field.

“But if a handful of people thing IPL is more to do with off-field activities, it’s the wrong way of approaching IPL. There are a handful of people who think that and you can’t control them. The only way out is not to make them part of IPL.”

The opening batsman was also asked if it was difficult to swallow the fact that he had been dropped from the national team and how he felt about the success the new opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have experienced throughout the recent Champions Trophy.

“For any sportsperson, it’s not about how difficult to make a comeback,” he said. “It’s about going out there and keep scoring runs because as a batsmen that’s what you play cricket for and that’s what give you maximum hapiness. It’s about keeping things simple.”

Gambhir also took the opportunity to dismiss Manoj Tiwary’s comments about the Kolkata Knight Riders not being able to bond as a team throughout this year’s IPL.

“I don’t know what Manoj Tiwary said, it’s his personal view,” Gambhir said. “But when you don’t play good cricket this is what you get. When you don’t play as a team this is what will happen.

“This year we were not consistent enough in all departments of the game and I an not someone who will hide behind the bush.”

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