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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Cricket

Onus is on Sunil Gavaskar to redeem himself
Pradeep Magazine, Hindustan Times
April 13, 2014
First Published: 02:03 IST(13/4/2014)
Last Updated: 02:25 IST(13/4/2014)

Since for most cricket lovers today, God is not in his heaven so all is not well with their world, it is difficult to create optimism out of a cesspool which is stinking to its core.

The WT20 is behind us and despite the disappointment of not winning it, I am sure there are many who would agree that a Cup win would have generated so much euphoria that the real issues confronting us would have taken a back seat. Instead of making Yuvraj into a villain, let us come back to speculating about the future direction Indian cricket is likely to take.

I am no fan of Sunil Gavaskar, the administrator, as he has been part and parcel of the board, especially its IPL politics. But I do still believe that here is a chance for Gavaskar, the great batsman, to redeem himself and make the best of the opportunity provided to him by the Supreme Court.

The entire cricketing fraternity, that includes his former teammates as well, would be beholden to him if he unshackles TV commentators from that obnoxious clause that forbids them from speaking against the board. I am sure as the IPL commissioner he has the powers to delete this clause from the contract.

Freedom, like charity, begins at home, and Gavaskar, who without doubt was the soundest of batsmen in the history of the game, would have driven home a potent message, just like his sublime on-drives did during his playing days.

One does not know whether the Supreme Court has given him access to the sealed envelope that the Mukul Mudgal panel gave to the judges. What one does know is that the envelope includes explosive allegations of betting/fixing against more than a dozen players, who include officials as well. These are unsubstantiated allegations, hence the secrecy, as the panel does not want to sully anyone’s name without proof.

However, it is obvious that these allegations have been taken seriously by the panel and they want them to be probed by a proper investigating authority.

It is now up to the Court to decide which authority that would be, whether the CBI or a special cell to be created for this purpose alone. Since the Mudgal panel has done such a fine job in pointing the direction in which the game should head, and they are well aware of all the wrongdoings, it won’t be a bad idea to let them be part of the probe and even monitor it.


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