Retired but still very much in touch with the game he considers his life, iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar today said the ongoing investigations into corruption in cricket are critical and fans deserve fair competition.
Tendulkar, who bid adieu to the game last year after playing 200 Test matches, said the ICC's probe into corruption into cricket are "critical for the game".
"I think the concerned people are taking really important steps because it is critical for the game to make sure that the spectators watch a fair competition," Tendulkar told reporters here.
Tendulkar was referring to the ongoing investigations by the ICC, the contents of which, including some testimonies of players, were leaked to the media leading to a furore.
The 41-year-old, who is here on a promotional tour, was also all excited about picking up his bat for the first time after retirement for an exhibition match in which he would play with West Indian legend Brian Lara.
Tendulkar and Lara would turn up for the Marylebone Cricket Club XI to mark the MCC's 200th anniversary. The Tendulkar-led team will take on a World XI captained by former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne in an ODI match on July 5.
"We (himself and Lara) played for the same team and we had a wonderful partnership. So I'm hoping for another one this time," he said.
"It's always been a joy to play against him. I loved watching Brian scoring runs against other nations, not India," Tendulkar said.
The Indian said Singapore can be a force to reckon with in international cricket.
"I don't see any reason why not... whenever we played here in Singapore, the response was really good," said Tendulkar.
"As a cricketer I feel proud that various nations are taking initiatives in constructing state-of-the-art stadiums and making sure that every measure is taken to globalise the game," he said.