Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid on Monday sent out a stern reminder to cricket administrators that they existed solely because of the cricketers and their fans, saying the "credibility" of the game superseded personal interests and power struggles.

Breaking the unwritten code of silence which has enveloped the country's top cricketers in the wake of the board's shambolic handling of the spot-fixing scandal, Dravid told a website, "There are so many fans and so many people who care deeply about this game and it is because of these fans that we are who we are as cricketers.

"Administrators are there because of the fans and the cricketers to run this game, so credibility of a game, or a board, or even a government for that matter, is important irrespective of what you do. If you are in public life it is important."

Dravid's comments came on the same day the BCCI moved the Supreme Court to seek fresh validation of its "illegal" in-house probe giving a clean chit to president-in-exile N Srinivasan's son-in-law.

Attempts by Srinivasan to cling on to his post - and the BCCI's ineffectual handling of the fallout from the IPL fixing shame - have been heavily criticized in recent times.

"Things like this don't help, when we are on the front pages of the newspapers and not on the back. A certain amount of reverence, respect and love for cricketers can diminish, and I think it's a really, really sad thing for cricket in this country if that had to happen," Dravid, one of the prosecution witnesses in the spot-fixing case and generally considered one of the more erudite and upright ambassadors of the game, was quoted as saying by the website.

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar echoed Dravid's views, suggesting administrators had become brazen, secure in the knowledge that the Indian cricket fan would not turn his back on the game. "When the match-fixing chapter was written in Indian cricket in 1999-2000, when some of the Indian stalwarts were banned, people thought Indian cricket had this severe jolt of credibility and it would all be downhill from then on," Manjrekar said.

"I remember there was an India-Zimbabwe series at home immediately after that particular event and every seat in the stadium was taken. So somewhere I think the administrators know that despite all this, the people will still follow this game passionately. Somewhere the administrators feel that they can get away with this, and I think that doesn't quite help in building enough pressure in the management of Indian cricket," Manjrekar added.

"I think the Indian fans have loved cricket unconditionally but that is something the administrators cannot take for granted for too long."

In recent times, the BCCI has imposed a strict gag on active players which prevents them from airing opinions in public. Dravid's comments - even though they come after his retirement from the international stage - are sure to stir the pot further.

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