This week has been a traumatic week for Indian Cricket with fresh case of spot fixing putting the concept of IPL under serious disrepute. Whilst new twists and turns pop up one after the other based on evidence by Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan and Janardhan we the cricket loving nation of India continue to debate on how this mess created by a few players should be cleaned up and show the world that we can rid through this storm and come out clean adding long term reputation to India’ leading and arguably one of the best sports showcase IPL.
Having spent a decent amount of time in UK I have learnt that big leagues like the English Premier League and other American master events like MLB, NFL, NHL etc. have also gone through bouts of bad times in the many years of existence however, each time they were troubled the leagues came out stronger and have eventually cemented their place in the heart of all sports fans all over the world. IPL is i sa rather new league with maximum chances of falling prey to match fixing rackets run by the mafia. Having said that, I am sure the events of IPL 6 have rattled the day lights out of BCCI and ICC alike and as a sports fan here is my advice to IPL/BCCI to ensure events henceforth are smoothly operated.
1. Minimize Contact with players – I was at the hotels where IPL teams stayed at least in 3 cities it was surprising to see lack of security granted to teams. Only top players like your Tendulkar’s and Dhoni’s had security whilst other players just cruised down the hotel lobbies with a large number of fans around them – If you look at the case in example Chandila is a fringe player who can easily be contacted at the lobby! This is just one example. IPL post parties is another hot bed for contact with bookies and sorry to be a party pooper but this should be curbed down to minimize contact with unwanted elements and also the BCCI must also consider zero contact while teams are in transit and lodging at hotels while on the road.
2. Stop Auctions – I undertand we are a community where everything larger than life is appreciated par excellence but auctions to but players is plain simple ridiculous! Who does something like this? Not the folks at EPL, La Liga or any other established leagues! IPL management needs to start treating the league with utmost respect and stop the hoopla around players being bought and sold. If IPL operates with a trade window the chances of exposure to the bookies is restricted because it’s all hush hush.
3. Strict Governance – This is a suggestion for the franchises who invest monies in trading players. If you are paying a player a decent amount to say the least demand credibility from the players you are investing in. This maybe stretching things a tad bit far do thorough back ground checks on players using analysts who observe their game and a police check to scan their history (Like I said it’s a bit far fetched but an option to clean up the IPL none the less)
4. Legalise Betting – This advice is for the government of India and although it’s repeatedly fallen to deaf ear’s I sincerely believe Sports Betting should be made legal. There are various benefits to legalising sports betting namely sharing of wealth between fans, government, franchises and the governing body, improved accountability of spread of bets that can be ploughed back into development of sports and weeding out chronic issues match and spot fixing – I fail to understand why our government doesn’t legalise betting and it plants unsavoury seeds of thoughts in a cricket fans mind. I guess the government of India must take a leaf from the books of UK, Spain and other countries in which sports betting is legal and think about it all over again. Some may argue that betting is immoral my question to them is what about match/spot fixing? Isn’t that immoral too?
Anyway I would like to sign off on a lighter note – Remember the IPL TVC with a punch line of ‘Koi Nahi Bachega’? What perfect timing to use that punch line. Now does that sound like a case of fixing too? All the best to IPL and BCCI.