Kambli, please provide proof or shut up

Why does not the BCCI sue Vinod Kambli? He is either telling the truth or giving a bad name to the game. Legal action would settle the matter once and for all.

Not a day seems to pass without another former cricketer or commentator coming out with a new match-fixing/spot-fixing allegation. It was Harsha Bhogle a few days back, then ICC’s former anti-corruption unit chief Paul Condon broke curfew and now, Vinod Kambli has joined the bandwagon with his statement that the 1996 World Cup semi-final was fixed.

The irritating thing, yes, there’s no other way to put it, about these allegations is that they are unsubstantiated and smell cruelly of a publicity stunt.

But let’s just say for a moment that Kambli’s allegations are true. The next questions that spring to mind are: Why did he stay silent for so long? Why have all the other players – Sachin Tendulkar, Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble included – not spoken a word about it? Why has no one in the ICC ever mentioned it? Are Tendulkar, Srinath and Kumble, guilty too?

This is for all those people who believe that just because the Pakistani players were convicted, it’s a free-for-all. AFP

And if Kambli took 15 long years to fight the demons that were holding him back, then surely he must have some proof now; proof that allowed him to go public, slay the beast and say things that are, even at this moment, damaging the game. Or did he just decide he needed some publicity and what better way to do that then to talk about match-fixing.

If it was the latter, he’s timed it very well. Why, he even cried on television. Bravo! It was a performance worthy of an Oscar.

But if he was serious and he has some proof then he needs to come out in the open and give it to the relevant authorities. The message is simple: put out or shut up.

And this isn’t just for Kambli, this is for all those people who believe that just because the Pakistani players were convicted, it’s a free-for-all.

Tim May, FICA’s chief executive, took exception to Condon’s comments. “Player Associations are getting sick and tired of people coming out making these general accusations, the effect of which casts doubts over the entire player base,” he said. “If people are going to make these types of accusations, make sure that they are specific and make sure that you have the proof to back up such claims.”

At the end of the day, it is the game being damaged and it’s odd to see Mohd Azahruddin -- banned for life by the BCCI for his role in the match-fixing scandal -- come out in the open and ‘rubbish’ Kambli’s allegations, when the Board of Control for Cricket in India and International Cricket Council are cooling their heels.

Shouldn’t the BCCI just sue Kambli for bringing the game into disrepute? If Times Now was fined 100 cr for mistakenly showing the photograph of Justice PB Sawant instead of Justice PK Samanta in a story on the Ghaziabad Provident Fund scam, then surely Kambli deserves worse IF he is lying. Because he’s maligning the game and everyone who plays it.

Such an action will also stop every person with any links to the game coming out and saying stuff without any proof. Do it like News of the World or hold your peace.

If he isn’t, then the truth will come out and isn’t that what we all want? So sue Kambli, make him stand in court, make him say the truth and if he can’t then punish him, make an example and ensure that no one ever dares to do the same again.

Updated Date: Nov 18, 2011 17:43 PM

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