It turned out to be one of the saddest days in the history of Indian cricket and there was a common belief that, the culprits should be punished. Cricket lovers across the world and specially Indian cricket lovers, were devastated by the spot fixing incident and as i said, it turned out be a black day for Indian cricket.
Hey! Let’s put an end to this.
Three Rajasthan Royal players, Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by Delhi Police for spot fixing in IPL and Delhi Police later in their conference presented this case in front of the media with very strong evidences. I must add that, some areas of this case are still under investigation and we must not conclude anything before we get official reports.
My idea of writing this piece is not to talk about what happened, my idea is to write about why this happened and what can be done to prevent this in future.
IT’s NOT ONLY ABOUT IPL
BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world and IPL is the most extravagant tournament going around. There is a lot of money at stake every year in IPL and the young Indian lads who come from a low socio-economic background are exposed to the world of glamour and to the world where, “crore is a new lakh”. These young boys are usually the soft targets for the bookies and they try to connect with them in the hotels and in the case of IPL, during the the “after parties”. However, spot fixing and corruption has been there in the game decades before the 1st edition of the IPL and hence, to blame IPL for this wouldn’t be fair but because there is so much money involved IPL has become an easy target for the bookies because there is a lot of cricket played in a very short period of time.
After the spot fixing incident, many raised their voices about legalising betting in India and many think that this will help to get rid of these issues. Legalising betting is something which will take a lot of time to happen, that is, if it will ever happen. It’s a lengthy process and in India any new law goes through many layers of debates and this makes legalising betting a very lengthy and unlikely thing to happen in the near future.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO STOP THIS?
Mentoring has always been one of the most important aspects of any sport but the mentoring is only limited to the technical areas of the game (specially in cricket), more often than not. I feel there is a strong case for mentoring the young lads who play in IPL and also international cricket, specially about how to avoid such people and stay away from corruption. It happens that, when approached by bookies and fixers, these young guys don’t know how to react and this gives bookies the chance of influencing them. A lad in his teens is always vulnerable against money and is likely to mistakes and this is where the role of mentoring because very important.
Many would argue that, Sreesanth and the other two lads are not youngsters, so how did they fall in the trap? I agree that they these 3 are not youngster and specially Sreesanth, who has played a lot of tests and has been a part of the World Cup winning squad twice. This question raises another very important point and that is of “agents agencies”. Agents are the link between players and franchises (in IPL) and sometimes, they are also the link between bookies and players. BCCI need to have one-to-one relationship with these agents and agencies and all their moves (regarding the game of cricket and players) should be monitored closely. BCCI should make sure that these agencies are registered with the board and they should go through a process of verification before granting any status. BCCI should also make sure that players are managed only by the registered agencies.
SPORT IS NOTHING WITHOUT THE FANS
After this news went viral on social network and news channels, there was a huge outrage among the fans and it was expected of BCCI and IPL governing committee, to come and take a strong stand against this in front of the whole world but unfortunately, this did not happen. N Srinivasan, Chairman of BCCI, did address the media through a video conference but he did not say anything for the fans in that 15-20 minute conference. Rajeev Shukla, who is the chairman of IPL governing committee did not say anything on this issue and just kept quiet. BCCI must understand that the fans in India are very emotional about this game and they were devastated after this incident and it is BCCI’s responsibility to stand up for them and make sure that their love for the game stays and the faith is not lost.