The latest spot-fixing saga involving Test cricketer S Sreesanth and two other players has brought the negative focus back on the IPL. A tournament which could otherwise be such a great one internationally to unearth exceptional talent is being bashed for poor governance. I still feel, blaming the IPL for something that has plagued the sport for decades is hypocritical to say the least.
Now let’s be honest, when was the last time we heard of spot-fixing. It was with Pakistan bowlers Mohd Asif and Mohammed Aamer bowling no-balls against England in England. That was also not the first time it had happened. The relation between all sports and betting is probably as long rooted in a sports’s history as its origin and existence. Which means way before IPL was even thought of, so why make it a scapegoat. Just because there is huge money involved and its a franchise system with big names does not mean we blame all corruption on it.
Frankly, match-fixing is a much bigger malaise and we had evidence against match-fixers from India from 1999 onwards. What happened to them? Someone’s a politician and many are actually commenting on the sport today, having remained scot-free with no one being able to catch them from their collar outside a court complex. Did we ban Indian cricket then, did we put a temporary ban of even 5 years on it? So why now the IPL.
The IPL is certainly one of the best breeding grounds for talents. Players not only get a chance to showcase their talent on the world stage, play with the best of international folks, learn from them but to add to all this, make loads of money even without being lured into heinous activities like the one that came to light yesterday.
What is more important to understand is that all ponds have bad fishes and the need to the hour should always be to find those and fix them, rather than emptying the pond and making thousands dependent on its water die of thirst.
I loved one tweet yesterday which said and I quote “for every Sreesanth and Chandila, there are folks like Dravid and Warne” which basically means there are enough examples to look up to and feel that the game is not tarnished because of a few bad examples. Like every industry and like life in general, there would be rough times, the tough ones have always survived though.
PS: For anyone who thought I am an IPL fan, rest assured, I am one of its staunchest critic. Unfortunately though I am still sane to know where to fix the blame and where to worship.