The Mumbai Police’s chargesheet in connection with betting during the Indian Premier League (IPL) season six has been filed. The biggest revelation of all has been the naming of former Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan. The findings also prove that BCCI’s probe in the matter was half-hearted and far from the dark reality. The most shocking of all developments has been the fact that father-in-law of Meiyappan and BCCI chief N Srinivasan has refused to step down in spite of the chargesheet accusing Meiyappan of being involved in betting and passing out crucial insider information to bookies.
Trying to keep himself out of the mess, Srinivasan has distanced himself from his controversial son-in-law stating he has nothing to do with Meiyappan and that his son-in-law will have to fight his own battle. Clearly, Srinivasan is in no mood to take moral responsibility of the situation and step away. But, this is definitely not going to solve the issue, and instead will only make matters worse. When a family member of a big shot is in a corruption tangle, it will not be easy to trust the man at the helm.
Ironically, the proper CLT20 tournament got underway on the same day as the IPL betting chargesheet was filed by the Mumbai Police. The credibility of the IPL has definitely taken a big hit, and now even the CLT20 will face questions since Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, two of the teams under the scanner for their role in fixing and betting respectively, are also taking part in the event. With so much going on off the field, how can the fans trust the players and the franchise? A lot more needs to be done to improve the credibility of these T20 tournaments.
The fact that even an umpire has been named as an accused proves how deep-rooted the evil of corruption has become in Indian cricket. Last week, Indian cricket received a major jolt when Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan were banned for their role in spot-fixing. And now this chargesheet by the Mumbai Police which has named Meiyappan, actor-punter Vindoo Dara Singh and umpire Asad Rauf among those accused. Corruption can never be clearly rooted from any profession, but at least an effort must be made reduce the same. Considering the number of controversies that the IPL has been hit with one wonders whether enough is being done.
When the IPL started, the event had plenty of positives. The chance of seeing players from different countries playing under one franchise sounded like a great idea, and was one of the key reasons why it was a hit. But, over the years, the league has been hit by one controversy after the other. Even the man who has been instrumental in making the event a success, Lalit Modi, has been charged with corruption and misappropriation of funds. The ones who run the show will make sure IPL goes on, but the question remains, how much can people trust it after all that has transpired?
--By A Cricket Analyst