The controversy-ridden Indian Premier League (IPL) has turned out to be nothing but a hell for cricket and a haven for black money. The IPL spot-fixing scandal that was recently exposed by the Delhi Police last week runs much deeper than just a few rogue players. After the confession of Rajasthan Royal Players, Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila in the scandal, the investigators believe that the rot could be much deeper and wider.
With the kind of money floating in IPL, corruption was imminent. It was only waiting to be exposed. Yet the BCCI officials and even the government chose to turn a blind eye to it.
Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha said in a statement yesterday that a report prepared by the Standing Committee on Finance, which he is heading, had pointed out “financial irregularities and involvement of black money in the tournament, but the government had not acted pro-actively to stop these illegal activities.”
This indicates a nexus which could be much more deep and complex than what the evidence suggests. Actor Vindu Dara Singh, who is in police custody has confessed to fixing and also revealed some of the big names in Bollywood who could be involved in the scam. Mumbai Cops on Thursday summoned BCCI chief N. Sreenivasan’s son-in-law, owner of CSK, in connection with the controversy. Not even the umpires have been left untouched.
Pakistani Umpire Asad Rauf has also been charged with links to the spot-fixing scandal. ICC in response was quick to remove Asad Rauf from the panel of match officials for the upcoming Champions Trophy in England, as his role in the scandal is presently being investigated by the Mumbai Police. Meanwhile, BCCI is still deliberating on their future course of action.
The spot-fixing controversy has tarnished the image of the only sport which India has. Rahul Dravid, the captain of Rajasthan Royals whose three players had been arrested on charges of spot fixing, described it as tough as handling “bereavement in some ways”. Strong reactions are emerging from the cricketing world and cricket fans. Fans are fast losing faith in the game which they worship, as they are feeling cheated by the players whom they once treated as demi-gods.
The voice for banning the IPL is only growing louder with each passing day as the web of the scandal comes to light. It would only be in the wider interest of the game that appropriate mechanisms are devised to enforce fair play and punish the defectors. However, the big question is can lost faith of the cricket fan be revived?