“The IPL governing council has suspended five players named by a sting operation alleging corruption until an inquiry into the accusations is conducted. TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali were suspended, according to IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla.”, read the first few lines of an article from a famous website. So, now every spectator in the world is convinced that the corruption in IPL has been tracked down and one can believe that IPL is a very clean tournament, but for these 5 players.
The tournament has almost come to its fag end and now these findings have surfaced.Let us put some perspective into this sudden piece of news. There is definitely a lot more than what meets the eye. Look at the players that have been suspended. I am not being judgmental, but lets be honest and accept that none of these are even in the minds of the national team selectors. They hardly have 100 first class matches amongst them. Shalabh, Amit and Abhinav have not played a single match this IPL.
The BCCI has taken this step just to ensure that no one points a finger at their league saying it is corrupted. They have managed to fabricate an excellent story and found 5 rather innocent guys to play a part in this. “I am trapped in this controversy through no fault of mine. I strongly affirm that I have not taken money from anyone; I am completely innocent. India TV edited the footage and distorted the video clips to portray me as a negative character.”, said Shalabh in an interview with Sportskeeda.
Since its a high profile tournament, direct match fixing might be ruled out almost completely, but spot fixing, the recent threat hitting the sport can definitely be observed in quite a few instances. After the way the cricket spectating fraternity was introduced to spot fixing by the News of the World, we tend to look at any unprecedented act to be a part of spot fixing. To cite a few from the recently concluded matches, the maiden over played out by Mahela Jayawardene again Piyush Chawla in the 16th over after having him thrashed for 33 runs of 3 overs. With traditional cricket followers from 20 odd years reading this article, I do accept that anything is possible in cricket. But a player of Mahela’s class and nothing to take away from Chawla, one would definitely not expect a maiden in the 16th over of a chase when the team is 5 down and needs 34 runs to win.
The final over against Mumbai Indians by Ben Hilfenhaus would have definitely raised an eyebrow. With such impeccable line and length for 21 balls out of his quota of 4 overs, one would least expect a poor last 3 balls to finish his spell. Most of the matches have been going into the last over when they could have been finished much earlier, not just the ones where Dhoni was involved (because finishing in the last over is his style statement), all lead to nothing but a cast iron case for investigation.
I have followed this sport like anybody else in the nation for the last 20 years and I would be one of the last ones to know that the sport that I follow and worship is fraudulent. But it is imperative as a viewer of the sport as a sport and not a medium of mere entertainment, that a lot more scrutiny is involved with such cash rich tournaments more so with Board of Control for Cricket in India is involved.