Monday, May 27, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Regain the Faith

"You are blinded," said Dumbledore, his voice rising now, the aura of power around him palpable, his eyes blazing once more, "by the love of the office you hold, Cornelius! You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognise that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be! Your dementor has just destroyed the last remaining member of a pure-blood family as old as any - and see what that man chose to make of his life! I tell you now - take the steps I have suggested, and you will be remembered, in office or out, as one of the bravest and greatest Ministers of Magic we have ever known. Fail to act - and history will remember you as the man who stepped aside and allowed Voldemort a second chance to destroy the world we have tried to rebuild"

- from Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36- The Parting of Ways

Very wise words indeed from one of the wisest men in fiction. Also totally contextual when you think of the current IPL spot-fixing scandal. Replace Cornelius Fudge by the current cricket administrators and Voldemort by match-fixing and you have an apt parallel. Unfortunately with the slew of allegations & rumours flying around, we haven't identified the sane voice of Dumbledore around whom the true cricket lovers can rally and attempt to save the game they love.

This message is intended not just for N Srinivasan and the BCCI but for all the cricket boards, ICC and FICA. They have to work together to weed out the corrupt. And the faster it  is done the better for the game. ICC removing Asad Rauf from the umpire's panel for Champions Trophy due to him being under investigation is a good step towards regaining the paying public's faith.

There are two views being taken -
(a) by the "breaking news media" & the "trigger-happy" social media - everything is fixed and
(b) the official line of just three rotten eggs.
The truth, as it always happens, lies somewhere in between. Not everyone is corrupt and I would be quite surprised if the entire racket involved only the three players. BCCI lost one chance to come clean a year ago. It has been given another chance. It MUST conduct a proper enquiry into all charges/allegations while working along with the government agencies. But with allegations now hovering around the BCCI chief itself, it maybe quite difficult for anyone to accept the results of such an investigation.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oh Black Caps... How Ye Flatter to Deceive

Seriously, you want this guy?  © Getty
It was a cool winters evening in New Zealand and here I was, a humble supporter tuning into the late night cricket, brimming with optimism at the prospect of chasing down a reachable 239 to achieve glorious victory at Lords.  We had come fresh of a hard fought 0-0 stalemate at home with the 'moral victory' (if such a thing counts for anything at all), the apple was ripe for the picking to give it back to the motherland at no other than the home of cricket itself.

Mere minutes later alas, it was 29-6 at lunch and I amongst the few cheering the visitors on had no choice but to cave in and choose the infinitely more comforting warmth of the bed-sheets.

What happened?

Monday, May 20, 2013

IPL6: Spot-fixing - What Next?

Disgust, Anger and even a Sense of betrayal - these are the feelings with which I write this blog post. Yet somehow the feelings of shock and surprise are missing. Anyone who believed that the game was completely clean and had no murky dealings ongoing was living in a fool's paradise. Yet, when the story of the arrests of the three players broke, it still did come as a shock. Though the shock can be attributed to the fact that all three players belonged to my favorite IPL team Rajasthan Royals.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Heart Of The Fix

So, there we go. With the arrest of three cricketers belonging to the Rajasthan Royals team in the IPL, for the crime of spot-fixing, widespread and long time speculations of corruption in the cash rich league have been confirmed. S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan – all bowlers – were allegedly promised money ranging from US$ 36,000 to 109, 000 for conceding a specific number of runs in a particular over in three separate games. These cricketers have been charged with fraud, cheating and criminal conspiracy – a shameful list of wrongdoings which is the antithesis of sports. If proven guilty, these players are staring at the end of their careers, a considerable amount of time in prison and a lifetime of regret and guilt.