Do you think that the Stephen Lee episode has opened Pandora’s Box and there could be other black sheep in the sport?
I am pretty sure there are characters and they try to take advantage of the system. I hope the stringent action taken against Lee will serve as a deterrent to all those youngsters who are taking up the game and could be tempted by big money proposals.
Have you ever been approached by anyone?
Not really, I have never been approached by anyone so far in my career. But these things happen in sport.
Do you believe that the system to check this menace is in place?
Sure, the World Professional Snooker Association has a separate anti-corruption unit to deal with such issues. Because of the fact that betting is legal in United Kingdom and in Europe, they keep a strict vigil on every betting site and the matches. They try and investigate anything which they find fishy, if anything unusual happens during the course of any tournament. Nothing escapes their investigation.
Does having a legal betting system help?
Look, help only comes from educating the youngsters. All these procedures will help securing the future generations. The more tough you come down on one generation is always going to make youngsters think hard about their future. I think you can hardly manage to fix exact scores. But if somebody wants to do something, there is always a way.
Are you sceptical about mixing with other players or officials during the course of tournaments?
I am a pretty outgoing person. That doesn’t mean that I’m friendly with every other fellow, but I do mix up and try to discuss the game with my fellow colleagues even when am playing league in UK. I can understand that one has to be careful when you are playing a game like snooker where huge money is involved at the professional sport.
There is zero tolerance about fixing in our game. It has happened on many occasions that when authorities found any betting pattern suspicious or huge betting on any particular match, all bets on that match were cancelled immediately. It’s sad that this has still been happening, but measures are being taken to curb this menace.
Do you feel the future is secure for the game?
It is sad that someone as accomplished as him (Lee) is associated with something like this. These are isolated incidents and I am sure that the action taken will in a way secure the future of the game.