Cricket is known as the game of glorious uncertainties, but the Delhi police’s move to charge the late Hansie Cronje in the 2000 match fixing case is straight out of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! The decision begs the question: ‘What took them so long?’
When the Delhi cops got hold of the tapes which had the then South African captain talking to bookmakers, they were credited for unearthing the ugly side of cricket’s underbelly. Players involved in the controversy ended being penalised by their respective boards in terms of bans and suspensions. In many ways, cricket was never the same.
Although there is a correlation in terms of the alleged offence which Messrs S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan are involved in, the 2000 match fixing case was different from the latest scandal which broke out in the Indian Premier League.
It appears that all the plaudits the Delhi police earned over these two controversies have now been diluted with this tardy, inexplicable decision to press charges. That too, against a dead man, who has already confessed to his crime in a commission set up in South Africa.
India must lead the world in terms of getting to the bottom of cricket’s biggest ill with newer techniques and radical investigations. How would opening up a 13-year-old case help in bringing the guilty to book is most perplexing. This has only caused tongues to wag with more gusto in the rest of the cricketing world which many a time takes pleasure in ridiculing India. But then, this time they have been provided enough reason to do so.
The Cronje controversy is very much part of cricket’s history. Let it stay that way instead of coming in the way of the task in hand.