To prevent malpractices, including match-fixing and doping, during the Indian Badminton League (IBL), a special committee will keep a strict watch during the event.
That the IBL is modelled on the lines of the Indian T20 League makes it imperative for the presence of a mechanism, lest there is a repeat of the spot-fixing scandal that hit the cricket tournament. The members of the committee are likely to be finalised at the IBL's next governing council (GC) meeting next week.
“The IBL will be held on a grand scale but we want to avoid the problems the T20 league faced,” Pradeep Gandhe, vice-chairman of the IBL GC, told HT. “Wherever there is money, there are chances of it being misused. We want to ensure there is nothing of that sort.”
The racquet sport was hit by a major controversy at the 2012 London Olympics when four women's doubles pairs — one each from China and Indonesia and two from South Korea were thrown out of the tournament for allegedly manipulating matches.
“After scandals like those (Olympics) and the fixing in the Indian T20 League, we will have a committee that focuses on any such untoward activity during the event,” said Gandhe, also vice president of the Badminton Authority of India. “You don't have such committees in badminton tournaments. This will be a first.”
There are various ways in which a badminton match can be fixed. “A player can feign injury or a team can ask its strongest player to pull out on someone's orders. The team can even break its strongest doubles pairing,” said Gandhe.
“The committee will keep a tab on the smallest of things apart from major fixing.” The inaugural edition of the six-team IBL is scheduled from August 14-31.
The six franchises are the Pune Vijetas, Rajdhani Smashers, Karnataka Kings, Lucknow Warriors, Hyderabad Hotshots and Mumbai Masters.
Sachin Tendulkar could be cheering from the VIP stands, as the master blaster has "shown his willingness" to buy the Mumbai Masters.