The TV sting on domestic players, essentially fringe characters as far as the multi-million dollar IPL goes, has raised serious fears that the rot runs deep and even domestic cricket like Ranji, Deodhar Trophy, etc. are not immune. Some of the players who spoke to the undercover reporters claimed spot-fixing does happen in the IPL.
We asked our readers whether the sting would help in digging the truth about the 'murky deals' that take place behind closed doors.
54% people believed the truth will never come out. They seemed as sceptical as former cricketer and a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team Kirti Azad who said, "They won't go after the franchises. “Why have they (franchises), who have paid extra, not been suspended until Sawani has come out with his report? Nothing will come out of this enquiry.
36% were hopeful that the dirty truth about 'off the record' deals will be exposed. A meagre 10% readers responded 'can't say'.
Soon after India TV on Monday claimed to have blown the lid off 'murky deals' in the IPL among players, organisers, owners and big guns of Indian cricket, a rattled Indian cricket board reacted swiftly suspending five players until an inquiry is conducted.
Players involved in the scandal are TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab), Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, a Delhi cricketer who now represents Himachal Pradesh in domestic cricket.
India TV claimed many IPL players had confessed on hidden camera that they got much more than their prescribed auction money under the table. According to the channel, the sting also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also in first-class matches and that women played an important role in match-fixing.
Soon after the revelations denials began to pour in.
Shalabh Srivastava and Mohnish Mishra said they are not guilty and are being framed.
"The channel didn't show my full conversation with its reporters and if the full transcript of my conversation was shown, it had nothing against me," Shalabh said.
Mishra, however, reportedly admitted he’d made the statements on camera but had done so casually “to develop his value”, a PTI report said.
Kings XI Punjab skipper David Hussey said he would be "very disappointed" if the media puts a question mark on the integrity of his players.
"We have never paid any amount in cash or otherwise to Mohnish Mishra or any other player over and above the maximum amount permissible by BCCI and neither do we believe in this practice of giving black money," said Pune Warriors India managing director Sushanto Roy in a media release.
The IPL, from inception, has been a financial maze. With the minimum a player can make in an IPL season being Rs10 lakh (paid to uncapped players with two years first-class experience), there is lot of money to be made. But the league has a history of dubious financial dealings, which first erupted during the Shashi Tharoor versus Lalit Modi tussle in 2009. Some of the financial investigations are yet to be completed. Thus the claims made by players that teams pay in black, and give away cars and flats to circumvent IPL salary cap rules, cannot be dismissed.
As soon as the scandal hit the TV screens, social media was abuzz with reactions - of shock, doubt and dark humour. Here are some Twitter reactions.