New Delhi: Expressing concern over the spot-fixing controversy in the ongoing IPL tournament, Congress on Thursday hoped the arrest of three cricketers would prove a "deterrent" to others involved in such illegal activities. "People of the country will lose interest in the game, if this creeps into their mind that the match is fixed. And then as a result, the stadia will go empty," party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said.
He refused to go into the issue of quantum of punishment for such players, saying it is for the Sports Ministry and the sports bodies to think and not for any political party. Ahmed also took a dig at BJP for "politicising" the issue, saying "while there should be sportsman spirit in politics, there should not be politics in sports."
"One should not do politics in every issue. We should praise those, who have unearthed this. Law should be allowed to take its course. No politics should be done in these things. This expose should prove a deterrent for other such persons involved in these activities," he said. Ahmed dismissed demands by certain quarters to disband the Indian Premier League, saying while action should be taken against the wrong persons, it is a wrong presumption that such a thing happened because there is too much money in the IPL.
"It is not like that. It is wrong to say that the game is getting spoilt due to huge money in the IPL. There is huge money in games like tennis, boxing and football too. And such incidents had happened even before the IPL came. It has happened in other countries of the world as well. Much before the IPL came into being, there have been allegations like this against many famous players," he said.
Indian speedster S Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates were arrested in a post-midnight operation in Mumbai today by Delhi Police for allegedly spot-fixing IPL matches for payments of upto Rs 60 lakhs.