It's time our cricketing czars stop being proud of their most marketable product, the Indian Premier League. It’s like a jewel-studded emperor’s robe that stinks. Confirmation of this has come from the Lodha Committee’s suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
If there is one message the Supreme Court-appointed panel sent out to the Board of Control for Cricket in India yesterday, it is, ‘if you are gun-shy, we’ll do the shooting for you.’ Had the BCCI acted as true guardians of cricket in this country, gone by their very own rulebook and suspended the two teams whose owners/officials indulged in betting two years ago, things would have been different.
Instead, the BCCI formed a committee to probe the 2013 spot-fixing case which either didn’t have the machinery to come up with detailed findings/punishment or this was something which they did not want to make messier.
Whether Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals appeal against their suspensions or decide to serve their time is to be seen, but the unplayable ball has been bowled, the umpire’s finger has gone up and the batsman stands a huge risk of wasting a referral.
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The IPL is cricket’s big-ticket circus. It is entertaining, but certain secrets to all the trickery have come out in the open. We are not even talking about the debris of the Lalit Modi era, whose stench has spread to other fields. Yesterday’s verdict involved the team owners. If it’s the players tomorrow, so be it.
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There’s no more room for skeletons. They must fall out before the sport does. The time to live up to that age-old truth that no one is bigger than the game is now. When the updated history of Indian cricket is written, the Supreme Court will probably be credited for pulling cricket’s chestnuts out of the fire. The BCCI shouldn’t be proud of that either.
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