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The fanfare associated with the India Premier League is subdued in a recent controversy involving bribery of players to mould their performance and help persons with vested interest to outshine their illegal business of betting and gambling. The institution of IPL is itself a lucrative opportunity for the players who are offered lots of moolah and heed to garner numerous allowances associated with game of cricket. It seems to be a lost opportunity for players now, who in spite of being so affluent are willing to transgress the ethics and integrity of their profession and sports.
Sports and Entertainment
The game of cricket is a much liked sports in India and people go crazy about it typically if the Match is between India and Pakistan. The zeal and patriotic instinct is so strong that sometimes Law and Order situation go out of control in certain hot spot of the locality. In such a frenetic outlook the corruption and moulded performance is a serious blow to the faith and entertainment for the people which as a result will only diminish the viewership of the game.
The profession for any individual is a Livelihood for him/her and doing justice to his/her profession is an issue of integrity and ethics in still in an individual. The recent incident evolves a serious concern of lack of integrity and models the IPL as a money making institution where the feeling of sports has hardly any felt objective among players. The high profile people and underworld has a stake in the matches played in the IPL seasons. Thus the Lalit Modi 's much touted League is in Denigration! Ill respect! etc.
Time to Change
The revelation by Delhi police has raised brows among people about the leadership role in the BCCI which lacks ways and means to impede corruption among certain players and lobby of influential who bets millions in the sports. It's time to change now, the respect and money should divulge to others neglected sports like hockey. The players should learn to value sports and should not take it for granted to be their own autonomy. The law may be made more stringent to check such transgressions and punish the guilty with heavy fine and life ban to set an example. The process of complex nexus is still under scanner and is set to regurgitate more big names to bring shame to the instinct of sports.
The time is right to make the sports of cricket to regain its lost glory but that requires self-introspection of players and stake holders in combination with certain measures viz
Indian Premier League (IPL), or some might mock it as, Indian "Paisa" League or Indian "Political League," recently concluded its 6th edition. Amidst all the excitement and a lot of promises to cricket lovers, in terms of both game and entertainment with the introduction of cheerleaders in gentlemen's game, the league started 6 years ago. It kept many of its promises. It gave ultimate fun to followers of their "religion" cricket, and it also gave many new talents a big stage to showcase their talents. With that in hand, this league has been super-successful than its counterparts in other countries.
But the statement, "Every coin has two phases", never loses its glisten. And so IPL can't be all good. Time and again many controversies have surfaced. Believe it or not, this league prompted the question of legalising betting, which has potential to fill coffers of Indian exchequer, by means of taxation on betting. This is enough to tell the magnitude of betting this game is exposed to. This time, in the 6th edition, it became widely apparent with the arrest of three Rajasthan Royal players (including former Indian pacer S Sreesanth and two others) by Delhi Police, on charges of spot-fixing in at least three matches. Investigations revealed their wide connections with bookies. This was followed by arrest of Vindoo Dara Singh who accused CSK team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan of betting and later Rajasthan royals co-owner Raj Kundra also faced similar allegations. Meiyappan's arrest pressurized BCCI chief Srinivasan to step down because of his connection with the tainted CSK official. And there surfaced a lot of political activity on these grounds, which included BCCI's position of being an autonomous body, not disclosing anything to the general public.
Now came the cleaning part of the controversy. CSK immediately disowned its tainted official saying that he was just another official and there was nothing special about his position in the team ownership. Rajsathan Royals stated that Raj Kundra holds only a minority share, and if he is found guilty, his share will be forfeited. From BCCI's side, it was intimated that Meiyappan's case will be probed by a three person committee, of which 2 will be from five-member IPL governing council. This was unsatisfactory to some, as inclusion of IPL governing council's members might compromise with the fairness of the probe.
IPL is BCCI's baby. As earlier noted, BCCI works as an autonomous body, not under RTI's purview and refuses to declare its assets. Considering the facts, it should be no shock to anyone when players indulge in offensive acts like spot-fixing, which not only mars the spirit of the game but also mocks the spirit that people have for their beloved sport. About the spot-fixing charges, BCCI has suggested that agents of all players to be accredited to BCCI and an anti-corruption official will be assigned to each IPL team.
Our government has been silent on this matter, largely. Government is earning handsomely from the game in the form of entertainment tax. So why would they step in? With 70 advertisers and 12 sponsors, at least Rs. 15000 crore is riding on this season of IPL. And it is very important on BCCI and IPL's governing council's part to protect the interests of these sponsors and advertisers. If the game is polluted, people might turn their backs towards it and then the only way to fill in the stadia audience will be paid audience. Though cricket isn't our national game, but everyone knows the viewership it enjoys. The controversies aren't limited to the game; these affect everyone in the country. And because of India's rising status in cricket, IPL is a matter of international stature of India.
The Indian premier league otherwise termed as Indian paisa league by the folks was smeared in its sixth version with the spot fixing scandal. The brainchild of the then BCCI( Board of control for cricket in India) chairperson Mr. Lalit Modi, it came out of the womb in 2008 with much pump and sound. As the bidding took place involving many business tycoon and Bollywood stars , it brought enormous fortune and opportunity for the budding cricketers as well as for all those taking a plunge into it. With three successful chapters to its story the IPL emerged as the largest social, commercial and sporting phenomenon with a gross total value of 4.13 billion.
Controversies started loving IPL in 2010 when BCCI decided to take two more teams into its basket namely Pune warriors and Kochi tuskers . But the tusker went wild crumpling the political ambition of then minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor with the allegation of conflict of interest. 2010 also saw the ouster of Lalit Modi from the post of Commissioner on charges of impropriety. Even after all this IPL maintained its charm until police siren came wailing to take the veil out of its face. Police arrested three players of Rajasthan Royals on charges of spot fixing in the month of May along with many bookmakers. It left a large dent on the integrity of the players who were bribed to fix a particular period of the match.
Where cricket is followed as a religion, its players venerated as gods , the scandal left the beliefs of the fans shattered and they gave a loud outcry for cleansing of their shrine of all dirts. Only punishing the players does not lead to a solution to this ever growing menace. Emptying the dustbin upside down can only ensure cleanliness in every nook and corner.
Indian cricket players are much privileged and financially sound as compared to the players of other sports. But if we tally their annual income with the revenue they create for the BCCI, we can easily conclude that the average players are underpaid which makes them an easier target. The BCCI has to play a vital role in this process. But the BCCI itself needs an overhauling as its caught in the mess with its two official resigning and the president stepping aside. The richest cricketing body is mostly controlled political honchos who have interest in gaining power than in the game of cricket. So it is the need of the hour to insinuate it with former cricket legends who have both vision and enthusiasm towards the betterment of the game. Secondly an independent committee should be constituted for the investigation of the spot fixing scandal . The president selecting the commission on his own is like giving the authority to the slave to carry out probe against his king.
The first two IPL sessions were bereft of a single ACSU ( Anti corruption and security unit of ICC ) official. Lalit Modi then claimed to have already roped in a security farm of South Africa. But the farm said they agreed upon only security issues not on any corruption curbing measures. Hence the BCCI should stop poking its nose everywhere and make room for ICC to help in conducting the league in a more transparent way. The players should also be educated properly about the most notorious bookies whom they should avoid.
With its clean-up drive the BCCI has asked the players and all franchises to spell out their financial transactions. But before that the IPL should make itself vulnerable to the public in financial matters. The taxpayers being the greatest contributors the IPL should also come under the RTI act. It's always easier to deal with small stuffs like the BCCI banning the cheerleaders and after match parties. But this is merely a drive for cleaner image. This time the BCCI , the fans and the government should try their best to wake up the sleeping dog inside them for retaining the image of the gentleman's game intact rather than forgetting everything with another sizzling Champions trophy victory of the Indian cricket team.
Indian premier league is a domestic cricket tournament to promote the sport and support young talent, but nothing is simple in this country. This is what people usually think of it, but it's basically another mode of betting and producing black money. IPL has been in news lately because of the betting racket associated with it. A lot of big names are involved with the mess including the owners, committee members, actors, cricketers and some part time bookies. The cricketers work according to their deals with the bookies and weave signs like cleaning the ball with hanky etc. before starting their act. Currently cops are doing their best to uncover the complete story. As a result of this mess people are losing their interest in the game, since it's no use watching the game when we already know the result.
The basic cause of this mess is greed for money of the people involved. They need more money in less time, but they forget there is no legal shortcut to earn money hard work is the only way. Since there is al lot of competition in today's cricket so to avoid the hard work the take wrong route to earn money which is in turn decreasing people's interest in the game.
A game should be played with the sportsman spirit without concerning the consequences but these activities are completely destroying the game as cricketers are losing the skills and country is losing talent. These young guns are the future of Indian cricket, if they lack skills they won't be able to face the international level which will result in the fall of country's pride.
A lot can be accounted while cleaning the mess of the domestic tournament like strict rules should be implemented considering the involvement of owners and committee members in the game, only players to be allowed in the pavilion as well as the locker room. Only 3-4 extra players to be allowed and cheer leaders should be banned as they are just unnecessary distractions. Late night parties should be banned as they link players to the bookies. Complete call record of each and every player should be maintained during the tournament.
Owners should be kept out of the team selection procedures it should be the decision of the captain alone. Match-fixing can only be avoided if players themselves are not willing to do it otherwise there is no escaping it and this will happen if players are provided proper salaries as it is just a yearly tournament so players are employed only for a particular amount of time so they tend to earn more money in less time to cover up for their unemployment period, more tournaments should be organized to keep players from leading the wrong ways to earn money.
At last, we can conclude that IPL mess is not only affecting the lives of the people involved but also the belief of the people watching the game and destroying the skills and talent present in the country.