I want you to read this as, so match-fixing, so betting, so corruption, so cheating, so a gentlemen’s game, eh?
I kind of hate writing about hot topics because it makes me feel like a ‘forever agitated Indian’. But this, I cannot help. When you’re doing things to cricket, you’re doing things to that one religion which holds the nation together. And I believe that’s when I should rightly get agitated.
To begin with, I was against the IPL before it was launched. Nothing personal, it was just one debate competition in my school where I was to speak against IPL. I did, I won. But that is a different story. What I want to tell you is. Since then, even if I’ve loved IPL and the glamour that it brings along, some questions from that debate have always been on my mind.
Why businessman? Why not foreign investments? Why spend so much over a cricket league when the nation is not in order in the first place? These and many such things always kept questioning my mind. But I never thought over it. Cheering for Mumbai and awing at Chris Gayle, I always overlooked these things which then seemed to me of very little importance. But now, as some things happened and one lead to another, I couldn’t cheer and awe anymore. I was compelled to think.
The contest which began with bidding and selling always looked a little dark. But we overlooked it in the bright glamour. After all, it was about the Ambanis and the King Khan, the BCCI President and the beauties of Bollywood. It began on the grounds of the EPL, and yet, there wasn’t any foreign franchisee involved in the Indian Premiere League unlike its source of inspiration. Why? The reason is simple but hard to digest. Look, when a thief plans a heist, he gets his henchmen involved. He needs a team and a system. He doesn’t invite unknown businessman to join his venture. And when they rob all the money, they distribute it among themselves. Makes sense now, doesn’t it? For six long years, we were blindfolded and shown ‘cricket’. But a few days ago, it came off and some dark secrets of the game were revealed.
I don’t want to talk about Shreesanth and Chandila here. I mean see, when someone drops a bomb on some nation, it’s not the bomber who is important. What is important is the people behind the scene, their strategies, policies, motives and intentions. This IPL debacle is such a complicated web that putting it in an order is itself a very hard nut to crack. There is the film industry, the businessmen, the cricket board president, and the Dubai connection. Bhai is the end of this whole chain. Well, looks like that, but let’s look a bit deeper in it.
You know how schools work? There is a classroom full of kids, and there is a monitor or prefect who controls the class, tells them what should be done and what not. This prefect keeps the class teacher informed about all this, and the teacher threatens to kick out any child who disobeys her. Then there is a main office in the school where the teacher has to report from time to time. In this office sits the principal, the chief authority of the school’s activities and the most feared person in the school.
Okay, now let’s transform these things. The kids are the players, the monitor or prefect is the bookie, the teacher is the head of BCCI, and the principal is the Bhai. And this school called IPL generates money, and we’re led to believe that they play cricket.
But wait! This isn’t the end of this whole thing. Every school needs funds to run properly. For this there are trustees. A trustee is always feared by the principal himself. And this school is no different. They too, have a trustee who does not interfere with the school. He stays away and counts his money and funds the whole thing. He is the bigger Bhai and they call him Mr. Pawar. So, clear now?
IPL is a Golden Goose nurtured by these people. It eats what they want it to eat and generates whatever amount of money they wish. Leaving us stunned with its gleaming beauty, it has always blinded us and got its jobs done.
What we have to do to prevent it is simple. Kill the Goose. Yes, I am aware of what I’m saying and I don’t think it’s an extreme measure. I know many of us won’t want to do that. Why? Because it looks beautiful. But if we don’t do what we have to do, we won’t get what we want to get. We won’t get to see pure cricket. And killing the Goose isn’t an easy job. The common man hasn’t got the power to chop off it’s head. But we are a mob. We can always follow what we have wrongly been doing all these years. Hurl, Hurt, Hunt. When you want to bring something down, you protest against it, throw stones at it, then it gets weak, and eventually, terminates. Do that to IPL. Ban it, don’t watch it, let the TRPs and the ‘taka’ go down, and one day, it will see a full stop.
IPL isn’t where we want cricket to go, this isn’t how we look at our religion and this isn’t what we would let it happen. And in fact this is IPL, not cricket.
Give it a thought.