Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas feels the ICC should keep a close watch on the fifth Indian Premier League in the wake of the recent reports about spot-fixing in international cricket.

"The ICC may have dismissed the recent reports quoting an Indian bookmaker but it would be prudent that a close watch is kept on the IPL," Zaheer said.

He said although the IPL is treated as a domestic event of the Indian board but given the spate of reports about spot-fixing, the ICC needed to play a more proactive role and keep a watch on the event.

"The IPL is tailor made for bookmakers who want to bet on cricket," he pointed out.

Zaheer, also known as the Asian Bradman for his batting feats, said spot-fixing was a menace in international cricket that could never be completely wiped out.

"It can't be eradicated completely. Because till cricket is played people will gamble and bet on matches. But yes definitely authorities can take control steps to ensure the sport is kept as clean as possible," he said.

He expressed apprehensions that given the recent incidents of spot-fixing people might lose total interest in the credibility of the game.

"It is the credibility of cricket that is at stake. I don't want to see that day when people don't believe in results. Already people express doubts over matches during interactions," he said.

f Royal Challengers Bangalore are placed third or below in the league table, then the Qualifier 1 play-off match will be played on May 22 in Pune and the eliminator play-off game will played on May 23 in Bengaluru.

The Qualifier 1 play-off match will feature the teams that finished the regular season in first and second place, while the eliminator play-offs will feature the sides that finished the regular season in third and fourth place.

As previously announced, the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai will host the Qualifier 2 play-off match and the final.

"The start of the DLF IPL 2012 is exactly three weeks away. We are confident that the fifth season of this phenomenon will turn out to be the best-ever, on and off the field," said IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla.

(Agencies)