It seemed to be too good to be true. Just as the Indian Premier League (IPL) took off, controversy has once again thrown its shadow over the perennially tainted league.
Reports state that a Rajasthan Royals player has claimed to have been approached by a Ranji player to fix IPL matches. The Rajasthan Royals, without revealing the name of the player, confirmed the development in a statement yesterday saying that more than a month ago, a Rajasthan Royals player was approached inappropriately by a player (who was not part of the IPL) in connection with the 2015 matches. The player informed the Rajasthan Royals management of this.
We learnt that the player who made the approach is Mumbai-based. The incident has been reported to the higher-ups, so apparently here there has not been too much time wasted. Of course, the Rajasthan Royals team member was not lured, but reported the matter to the management instead.
Yet, it is disappointing that controversy continues to dog the richie-rich IPL. In spite of so much happening in the past, and cricket suffering hugely because of it, corruption is still part of the IPL, and it looks like it is not going away soon.
One can only hope that something constructive comes out of all these probes and investigations. Many times, one has heard that a certain probe is being launched into an incident in the dressing room or because a player was approached. Yet, after that, fans have no more information. What has come out of the probe? What is the end result of all these investigations by anti-corruption bodies? What is the role played by owners and bigwigs in the IPL, when accusations concern their teams? The fan hears little and understands even less, so confusing is this web. We need much more transparency and accountability, too.
The fact that there is a shroud of secrecy over such investigations and their results means further loss of credibility for the IPL and disrespect to its fans the lifeblood of the game.
Come clean, cricket honchos. Most importantly, say it loud and clear.