The Indian cricket board’s decision to slap a life ban on Madhya Pradesh seamer T P Sudhindra and lesser sentences for Shalabh Srivastava (five-year ban) Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali (one-year each) has been hailed in the cricketing fraternity.
However, the last three mentioned deserved longer suspensions and it is here that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have loosened their grip on the situation.
Punishment for bringing the game to disrepute cannot be light. And one-year bans sure appear wafer-thin.
All the same, the BCCI has sent out a strong message to its players — ‘mess with the game and we will mess you up.’
Srivastava neither has the talent or ability which he can do justice to in five years’ time while Sudhindra will have to bank on his academic qualifications to make a living now. To think about how he will survive is depressing.
The Board’s duty is far from over. They now have to do some introspection and dot the I’s and cross the Ts in their own book.
The Indian Premier League may be the most popular cricket tournament in the world. Yet, it has its grey areas. There is not an atom of doubt after the India TV sting that fringe players can be bought through unholy means.
The BCCI must find a way of cleansing this process even if it means getting everyone into the auction however arduous that may appear. No franchise would be able to rope in players who are not part of the auction.
Secondly, this business of the secret auction must be scrapped once and for all. It is an insult to fair play that Indian cricket lovers do not know how much players like Ravindra Jadeja and Kieron Pollard were finally bought for by their franchises.
Transparency cannot be sacrificed on the altar of novelty and one-upmanship.