Sachin Tendulkar has expressed his shock and disappointment at the corruption scandal to have gripped the Indian Premier League and says the sport must repay the faith of the millions of fans that watch it.
Rajasthan Royals players Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were all arrested by police investigating allegations of spot-fixing during this season's competition, while Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan faces betting charges.
Sreesanth, a former India international with 87 Test match wickets, has since pleaded his innocence, although he had his fellow teammates remain suspended by the India cricket board while they are under investigation.
Tendulkar is the first India player to publicly comment on the issue and has revealed his sadness at cricket dominating headlines for reasons of an unedifying nature.
"It has always hurt me when the game of cricket is in the news for the wrong reasons. The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing," Tendulkar said in a statement.
"As cricketers we are always taught to go out, fight hard, give our very best and play in the true spirit of the game. During this difficult phase, I join every cricketer, from the boys in the maidaans [fields] 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."
Tendulkar announced this week that he has taken the decision to retire from the IPL having claimed victory in his final season with the Mumbai Indians.
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