The betting and spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League may be giving sleepless nights to many but not its organisers — they know public memory is short. As a nation, we are not strangers to scandals. We’ve had the privilege of seeing all kinds of scams. I am sure the betting and spot-fixing scandal will pass by the next IPL season.
As for the “conflict of interest” in team ownership (editorial, “It’s time to go, Mr. Srinivasan,” May 25), we need to understand that in India, anybody with a lot of money can do anything.
Spot-fixing and betting are more in the news than cricket, thanks to the latest scandal. But who is to blame? We, the foolish Indians, because we have made cricket a religion or even bigger. When we give too much importance to something, it starts revealing its true colours after a point of time. The same is true of cricket.
Now that the investigations have started, some more arrests will be made and courts will sentence some of the accused. After some time, a few eminent people will start batting in their favour. Celebrities from Bollywood, Tollywood, Mollywood, etc., will join the chorus. Let us understand the meaning of the adage taught to us very early in life — excess of anything is harmful.
Thakur Sudesh Raunija,
People who hailed the IPL for its high-end entertainment are in a fix, after seeing its darker side. Betting in cricket, which used to be the prerogative of the underworld, has widened its network to include people from all strata of society. Even school students bet on IPL matches. The IPL should be banned before it brings more disrepute to the nation. Entertainment is not the only purpose of sports.
The IPL has helped the rich to become richer by exploiting the interest of cricket lovers. ‘Breaking news,’ with more damning revelations, shocks every cricket fan who has invested his or her time, energy and money watching the game. A leopard cannot change its spots; there is no guarantee that the same thing will not happen next year. The best thing to do is to close shop.
The argument that legalising betting would by itself curb betting is misplaced. Nobody with black money is going to volunteer. On the contrary, betting may emerge stronger. It will lead to cultural and social problems which cannot be reversed. The gambling lobby will become strong enough to challenge its case in any court of law. The government should make strong laws to punish the players who cheat the public.
A small hook can bring a big fish out of a huge river. First came the arrest of three cricketers in connection with spot-fixing in an IPL match. The search for bookies led to top names in the CSK. It is shocking to learn that Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan, could be involved in betting.
It is tragic that Mr. Meiyappan who belongs to a rich and well-known family is facing allegations of involvement in betting. It is unfortunate that people with almost unlimited resources have fallen from fame to shame.
Most problems start because of a lack of credibility and control over wrongdoing. Two cricketers charged with taking drugs in a party are allowed to take part in IPL matches. Some political parties demand that players of some countries should not play at a venue, and the rules are bent accordingly. People who play cricket have no say. Money and politics dictate decisions.
If a cinema or drama fails to entertain, we cannot say we feel cheated. But undermining the audience’s right to a fair game should definitely be considered a case of cheating. India Cements’ claim that Mr. Meiyappan is just an honorary member of the CSK management is an attempt to hoodwink people.
Mahatma Gandhi said the earth has enough for man’s need but not for man’s greed. Mr. Meiyappan was born into a rich family. He is the son-in-law of a wealthy family and was Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings, a team which had superstars of world cricket. He should have enjoyed cricket.
I felt sad on reading that the Mumbai police, who have done nothing much to stop extortion and kidnapping in and around the city everyday, have arrested Gurunath Meiyappan on various charges. Besides being a cricketing league, the IPL is also a social event. Cricket stars, actors and eminent persons from all walks of life get together when an IPL match is played. Who they talk to is their personal affair. Mr. Gurunath’s arrest does point to a political conspiracy against Mr. Srinivasan.