Sachin Tendulkar 'shocked' over IPL spot-fixing allegations

Sachin Tendulkar
Image caption Sachin Tendulkar is the first and only cricketer to score 100 international centuries

Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar has said he was "shocked and disappointed" over allegations of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League.

In the last fortnight, three bowlers from the Rajasthan Royals team - S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan - have been arrested.

Last week, Sreesanth insisted he was innocent. The families of the other two have also denied the allegations.

A senior official in the Chennai Super Kings team was also arrested last week.

The players have been suspended by India's cricket board and their IPL team.

Spot-fixing involves illegally rigging parts of a match, for example by timing the delivery of a deliberate wide or no-ball, to benefit bookmakers or those betting on matches.

'Pride and joy'

"The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing," Tendulkar said in a statement on Friday, his first comments since the scandal broke.

"It has always hurt me when the game of cricket is in the news for the wrong reasons," he said.

"During this difficult phase, I join every cricketer, from the boys and girls in the maidans (grounds) across the country to those who represent clubs, states and the country, who trust the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue.

"The faith reposed by the millions of fans should be justified and we owe it to them to ensure that Indian cricket is all about pride and joy," the statement added.

Tendulkar, who recently turned 40, announced his retirement from the IPL tournament on Sunday night moments after his team Mumbai Indians lifted their first IPL title.

He is the first and only cricketer to score 100 international centuries and has a huge fan base in India.

He also holds the record for more test runs than any other player (15,837) and more one-day international (ODI) runs than anyone else (18,426).

Earlier this month, limited edition gold coins with his face engraved on them were launched by an Indian jewellery company.

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