” I deny the charges. I will put my views before my enquiry commissioner. I will wait for that” says Shalabh Shrivastav an Indian cricketer just caught in a sting operation conducted by India TV to expose the dirty underbelly of the IPL world. The real shocking aspect of this operation was that all the players caught on camera so candidly admitted that fixing is a common occurrence in IPL giving you the feeling that fixing is a part of the sport which is totally untrue.
Over the last decade or so cricket has been under the dark clouds of matching fixing ever since “Cronjegate” scandal involving former South African captain Hansie Cronje in early 2000’s. Ever since then the money in the game has increased resulting in the increase in greed especially among the younger generation of players. This recent sting operation is clearly an indication that menace of fixing is still alive and kicking but only on much larger scale. Also what has helped match fixing is a tournament like IPL which not only promotes glamour but also involves huge money. The simple fact that one of the guilty players in this recent sting operation Shalabh Shrivastav was prepared to bowl a no ball for an amount of rupees ten lakhs which just shows the sad depths that corruption has reach the sport. One of the other accused T Sudhindra has the audacity of not only demanding 50,000 for bowling a no ball during a local match but also apparently followed up on his promise by bowling a no-ball. To make matters worse Monish Mishra playing for the Pune Warriors has apparently claimed during the sting that he is been paid Rs 1.45 crore out which just 45 lakhs is the white money while the remaining is entirely black money. In response to this allegations the Sahara group denied any wrong doings on their part out rightly although we will never know what really is the truth.
As Mr Vinod Kapri the managing editor of India TV commented ” We had been working on this sting since last May” clearly indicating that the menace of match fixing is not new to the IPL and has been brewing underneath the surface for quite some time and ready to erupt like a lava at any given moment ever since its inception in 2008. What this sting also indicates is the rise in the lust for money especially among younger generation who are most susceptible. To curb the growing menace of match fixing it definitely requires the parent body in this case the BCCI to really be strong and get to the core of this issue. Unfortunately many in the BCCI have their own vested interest to protect and so it would be like living in “fools paradise” to believe that the BCCI will investigate the issue in the manner it should be done. The biggest example of vested interest in the BCCI is the current chief of BCCI N Srinivasan who himself is the owner of IPL team Chennai Super Kings.
The only way out from here is for the BCCI to appoint an independent investigative body with no conflict of interest issues to settle so as to get to the crux of the issue. Unfortunately with BCCI themselves surrounded by conflict of interest issues so it is really impossible to expect an independent body being appointed to investigate the issue.It is also high time the International Cricket Council stops being a puppet in the hands of the powerful Indian cricket board and take more serious initiatives to regulate tournaments such as the IPL. Overall this issue certainly proves the axiom “Money talks” to be true especially when it comes to the glamorous world of cricket and more specifically IPL cricket.