Indian cricket might seem shining but the truth is that the greed is eating it up from within. It’s the youngsters that give any system its muscle and sadly the youngsters of Indian cricket seem fascinated chiefly by money.
Even their parents bring them up with this notion. Blame it on IPL or ICL, the fact is that for an average cricketer, the game is secondary and bank balance the top priority. Education doesn’t eliminate avarice. Mindset is dependent on academic education, upbringing and the advisors you choose to follow. A mindset on the lookout for more money assumes dangerous proportion in Indian cricket where money flows like water.
The perfect example of this is five players were caught off guard in a sting operation. None of these banned players were struggling for money. It’s the greed that got them stumped. They were pompous and arrogant. But they were also gullible because they weren’t trained in handling such situations.This is precisely the problem Indian cricket is suffering from. Take the case of left-arm medium pacer Shalab Srivastava. In the inaugural year of the NCA in the year 2000, he was hailed by none other than Rodney Marsh as a bowler who would play for India in a couple of years. Tall with a high arm action, he would bring the ball in at will and had a sharp bouncer. But after he underwent a knee operation, he wasn’t the same bowler.Fed up with injuries and politics, he opted to make money by joining ICL. And when that was terminated, his experience in Twenty20 helped him get a good IPL contract. But his focus shifted from cricket to getting more money as he had crossed the age of 30; he knew his days of money-minting were numbered.
T.P. Sudhindra’s case is intriguing. The Bhilai boy is educated and keen on pursuing MBA or CA. He looked matured for a cricketer and was making rapid strides with his genuine swing bowling but like Srivastava he too is the ‘product’ of the ICL. He was the highest wicket-taker of the last season in the Ranji Trophy. If he had applied his intelligence well, he would have realised that money would flow if he continued to do well.The BCCI committee cites a case of Sudhindra bowling a no-ball on purpose in the Madhya Pradesh Premier League in 2011. The question is what stopped the association from taking punitive action when cricketing fraternity and the state media had raised a hue and cry? Is it because Sudhindra was a bowler they badly needed in the Ranji Trophy?Shouldn’t the BCCI penalise the cricket association for not acting tough? Is banning players the real solution to the problem? IPL is increasingly making players materialistic and nurturing a life style that drags youngsters to do dishonest things.Professional counsellors are needed in each state association to counsel players in handling fame and money. The problem needs to be tackled from the roots.