Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur in an exclusive interview with India TV shared his opinions on the new National Sports Ethics Bill that will be presented soon that will cater to matters which deny cricketers from getting away with any wrong-doings that they do such as match-fixing, age fraud, sexual harassment and doping. Thakur also lashed out at the BCCI for not doing their job properly and has asked former cricketers such as Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble to speak up on the matter.
Anurag Thakur, along with the then secretary Ajay Shirke, was removed as the president of the BCCI by the Supreme Court on January 2 for "obstructing" and "impeding" its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body.
The apex court then appointed a committee of administrators, headed by former CAG chief Vinod Rai, for managing the day-to-day affairs of the BCCI.
"It's a private member bill, the national sports ethics commision. The players who are involved in match-fixing probes, strict action should be taken against them", said Thakur to India TV.
"Players, coaches, administrators who are involved in any scam such as sexual harassment, doping, age fraud, strict action should be taken against them. For match-fixing the sentence should be 10 years, age fraud should be between 6 months to 1 year, for doping and sexual harassment cases, a few years sentence should be given as I have mentioned. It's for the sport to be clean. The BCCI has taken strict measures in such situations but if the player takes the matter to the judiciary, their lawyers try and save them and get out of the rut that they were in", mention Thakur.
The former BCCI president stated that the players are able to get away from the charges that are imposed on them because of the loopholes in the system. Thakur said any other person who has also take part in the activity with the player should be taken into consideration as well.
"A fear should be instilled in the player and if he starts with the age fraud, action should be taken immediately. If the parents or administrators are also a part of the age fraud, action should be taken against them as well".
Thakur mentioned that many times the charges that were imposed on a player were let go because of protection that is provided and even mentioned a case that got away because of the similarities in the past.
"In 2013, batting allegations were charged on a team owner, the case ended and the players that were involved in the case got away without anyone knowing their names", said Thakur.
Thakur was booted by the Supreme Court last year and has now targetted the cash-rich board on how much they have excelled since his dismissal.
"In the last few years, what the BCCI has lost and gained is a matter that we should think about. Whats the difference between the report we sent on 1st October 2016 and the Committee of Administrators reports. The people who have left their jobs and joined the BCCI, there is no clarity in the working. And all of sudden they would want to apply a cooling off period. The difficulties that I was facing a year back today the Committee of the administrators is handling."
Thakur mentioned that if he had wanted to return to the BCCI, he would have thought about it the day he was let go but believes that the system is not working accordingly to the sport.
"If I wanted to return to the BCCI, I would have started the working 11 months back, the game is bigger than any person and I think that no person should not interfere in the working of the game. My main agenda was to bring the Lodha committee recommendations in front of the members, the voters who voted in the favour of the committee we have accepted gracefully and the remaining votes have been presented in front of the Supreme Court. In 11 months no action is taken and I expect that to happen."
Thakur asked former cricketers such as Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble to speak up on the matter and should not bottle in their thoughts about the Indian cricket board.
"People like Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble should speak up and the people should know where the BCCI has reached in the past 11 months. The envelope which consisted of the names that were involved in batting allegations, their names should be exposed".
Thakur's major concern to bring in the bill so that the sport is transparent between the board and the people that love the game.
"The sports bill is being brought upon so that the sport is clean and the players should not get involved in any wrong-doings such as doping, match-fixing, age fraud and sexual harassment cases. I am bringing the National Sports Ethics bill in the parliament so that the game benefits", concluded Thakur.
(With Inputs from Vaibhav Bhola, India TV's Sports Correspondent)