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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014
Entire Indian cricket establishment is compromised
Pradeep Magazine
May 18, 2013
First Published: 23:37 IST(18/5/2013)
Last Updated: 02:22 IST(19/5/2013)

The ticking time-bomb that the Indian T20 league was, has finally exploded to tear to smithereens the facade of well-being the `paid servants' of the Board have been trying to build for Indian cricket for the last few years. 

Instead of expressing shock, despair, dismay and take recourse to sentiments of hurt and anger, but still not lose our abiding faith in those who administer the game in the country, it is time to accept the fact that the entire cricket establishment in India is compromised to the core.

It is not my case that the pre- T20 era was pure and pristine, and the winds of corruption began to sweep the corridors of cricket once Mr Lalit Modi launched a global product which dazzled the world. 

We all know what happened in 2000, when the match-fixing scandal broke and the subsequent ban imposed on a few Indian players.

Crony capitalism
It is definitely my case that the post-T20 era has taken cricket corruption to a new level, where first a format was created which lends itself easily to fixing and then a tournament was structured around it in a manner which allowed private enterprise to break almost every rule-book of corporate governance.  Crony capitalism is a word which almost every Indian is aware of today, thanks to the minute-a-day exposes which show corporate-politician nexus in its brazen, crude form.

And thanks to the T20 league, the line between the administrators, team owners, players -  former and present  —  and now the bookies, has got so blurred that  it defies belief. 

Litany of grievances
The list of alleged crimes is almost endless. From money-laundering to FEMA violations, from turning almost every  powerful voice of Indian cricket into paid servants of the board and making use of them in painting a rosy picture for itself. In this cleverly crafted strategy every effort has been made to silence the voice of dissent, something whose consequences are always fraught with extreme danger.  A mirror is supposed to reflect your true face. Manipulating that image to create a face minus all its warts, does not change the reality. When the mirror comes crashing down, as it has today, its piercing splinters can rip apart the mask and create more ugly scars, which become impossible to hide.

Greed begets greed and an unregulated market which thrives on speculation is a sure recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, the T20 league has become like the stock-market, where profits are more important than the sport and its integrity. In this atmosphere of complete lack of faith in anyone who has anything to do with cricket today, does anyone expect the world to believe that the three players arrested for fixing are the only bad apples that are spoiling the fair name of the game?

The Board and those who have become its paid cheerleaders need to genuinely introspect for the sake of the sport which they claim to worship and not use it to enhance their already bulging bank balances.  Unfortunately the cricket establishment in India today is so heavily compromised that only a credible, independent, fearless authority with all the powers to probe and punish, can restore any faith in the game. Is this asking for too much?


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