I completely agree with former BCCI President Mr. Shashank Manohar’s observations that the serious allegations regarding betting, spot fixing and match fixing have seriously tarnished the credibility of the game. The fans and the public at large are slowly but surely beginning to lose faith in the Indian Premier League and the game. Mishandling the scandal by the BCCI boss has further threatened the institutional ethos of the IPL brand.
Thus, as I mentioned yesterday in one of my tweets the biggest and most important task ahead of the BCCI now would be to win back the faith of the fans by returning the dignity and honour to the sport. And that to my mind can be done only by ensuring that the IPL does not lose touch with the fan base.
The entire cover-up by the BCCI top honcho to save his son-in-law and the degree to which Mr. Srinivasan has let it spread forces me to compare it to the state-sponsored mandatory doping in East Germany.
Given the context and the current chain of events, I reckon it’s only right that until the faith of the people in the integrity of the game is restored, the IPL tournament for the year 2014 should be suspended. Only once we have rid ourselves of the scourge that is “fixing” of any kind should we continue. Remember that it is the intense emotional engagement of the fan that compliments the technical brilliance of the cricketer and that should never be interrupted or scarred with the corrupt practices of people in charge or those involved.
Unfortunately, the BCCI had one full year – 365 days to gear up into some action, but TV deals and financial control of the sport overtook their faculties. A lot of players, too, have felt the same way especially given the uncertainty in the air, but have failed to voice their opinions for fear of a fierce backlash from the BCCI boss.
Sport derives its power from the investment of seemingly trivial activity with serious intent. And that serious intent embodies the ethics of sport, which administrators have to safeguard.
I agree with Mr. Shashank Manohar wholeheartedly, that had an unbiased thorough investigation been ordered when the scandal broke out, we would have been on a better wicket today. It is thus all the more critical to conduct a meticulous probe and ensure all the culprits are punished so that this generation and all future generations are able to view the gentleman’s game without an iota of doubt or suspicion.
It is critical that this happens to cricket and the IPL today, so that the game is able to retain its popularity and the billions of viewers that worship the game. For, if the faith of these fans is not restored immediately, the far-reaching repercussions could destroy the integrity of the game forever.
I for one can only shudder to think of the consequences then!!