The nation is reeling under a severe credibility crisis due to the damning revelations on the spot-fixing and betting scandal in the Indian Premier League cricket matches. With its surprising twists and turns, the IPL promises to be more thrilling than some of the prime-time television serials. The plot has thickened with the latest disclosure that Vindoo Dara Singh, arrested in connection with the scandal, was in touch with Gurunath Meiyappan, Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings and son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan. Ever since the BCCI rolled out the red carpet to business tycoons and Bollywood stars, it sacrificed the interest of the game to money. If cricket is to survive in India and the loyalty of its fans is to be retained, the government should take over the BCCI and ban the IPL.
The IPL’s credibility continues to suffer. The game, as the cliché goes, is plunged in glorious uncertainty. It is getting interred beneath the skeletons that have tumbled out of the IPL’s cupboard. First, three cricketers (three rotten eggs?) were accused of selling the game for filthy lucre. But it is no longer about a few rotten eggs as the BCCI chief wanted us to believe, with his son-in-law’s name figuring in the betting and spot-fixing scam.
Till now only small fish were caught and bigger names kept out. But now the name of a close relative of the BCCI chairman has surfaced. An independent probe is the need of the hour.
Disdain for law, disrespect for investigating agencies, confidence in overcoming any prosecution through legal loopholes and a tardy judicial process — these are some trends which have become increasingly visible in the last decade. Few expect something to come out of the investigations into the IPL scam. These are times when a prominent person convicted of crime feels no shame but comes out of court smiling and waving to his “admirers.”
If cricket is a gentleman’s game, it is not for us. We must start thinking about banning this sport, at least temporarily, until the mess is cleaned up.
Cricket has always been close to the hearts of the young and old in our country. Unless the wrongdoers are punished, cricket lovers will lose their interest in the game. We would like to watch transparent cricket which is free from fraud and malpractices.
Shijo Mon Yesudhas,
The events of the past few days point to the IPL being associated with all sorts of bad things. Our youngsters are slowly getting into the culture of betting. Do we need such a culture? All those who have grown up watching the gentleman’s game, both the five-day and the one-day edition, find cricket very menacing today. It has been reduced to determining how strong and fit one is, and how much one can hit the ball in 20 overs.
The government should either take over the functioning of the IPL and see that the stakes are controlled or ban the game from the Indian soil forever.
The overwhelming support that the IPL enjoys among youngsters is worrying. They seem to say “we are watching the circus and enjoying it even though the tent is on fire.” One drop of poison is enough to destroy a glass of sweet milk. We have to throw the milk out.