In Abu Dhabi to address his first media conference after taking over as the interim president of the BCCI, the former India skipper said, "After the final on June 2, I want people to remember the IPL for the quality of competition and nothing else... I am deeply humbled at the Indian Supreme Court's directive to appoint me in this post and I want the league to be as controversy-free as possible."
The BCCI and its controversial chief, N Srinivasan, faced the wrath of the apex court recently. The court also proposed that Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals — two franchises whose owners/officials/players were arrested for betting-related offences — be suspended before allowing them to participate in the league. When asked if the said teams should have been allowed to play, Gavaskar straight-batted the query in typical style: "It's the Supreme Court's decision and we abide by it."
The Indian cricket fraternity has had a love-hate relationship with the UAE. Over the years, the Gulf kingdom has witnessed many an Indian win but there have also been serious concerns over the presence of "anti-social" elements in Sharjah. To put it simply, the city used to be the hotbed of match-fixing. "The local police and International Cricket Council authorities have ensured their cooperation," Gavaskar said. For now, he is focusing on the state of wickets of the three world-class stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah which will host a whopping 20 matches between Aprl 16 and 30. "I have stressed the need of good wickets in all three venues as it's the pre-requisite for a good contest," Gavaskar said, adding, "Let's hope the IPL 2014 can work as a springboard for the future editions.