A clouded mindset

Whether it is lack of education in every sense of the word or whether it is naivete that results in cricketers getting into murky deals, there is no excuse for their acts. The worst off-shoot of this incident is that the involvement of a few cricketers with the bookies has subjected the genuine players who are plying their trade with zest and dedication to great misery.

The old curse of spot-fixing has resurfaced to haunt the game and it is really shocking to see the current day cricketers like Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan getting involved in this menace. The reason I say this is because they are made aware of the pitfalls and the consequences of getting involved with shady elements. Besides, the money the modern cricketers get paid is not paltry by any means. Of course, what is adequate is relative, but the cricketers fail to understand that it is stupid to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Whether it is lack of education in every sense of the word or whether it is naivete that results in cricketers getting into murky deals, there is no excuse for their acts. The worst off-shoot of this incident is that the involvement of a few cricketers with the bookies has subjected the genuine players who are plying their trade with zest and dedication to great misery.

The BCCI has come under the hammer for not putting up a fool-proof system in place to ensure that the sanctity of the game is retained, but quite obviously there is only so much that the apex body can do to curb the menace. The BCCI has sought the help of the ICC in roping in their Anti-Corruption Security Unit to monitor and supervise the IPL games, but it has been proved that the manforce employed to prevent the player-bookie nexus will never be enough. In addition, the ACSU as well as the BCCI have severe limitations in that they cannot police each and every player and official round the clock. The BCCI and ICC can only lay down the laws/rules for all involved in the game in the hope that they will be followed diligently. This is done by the majority but as in life there will be a few who succumb to temptations and get sucked into making a quick buck.

That there have been a few stray elements is obvious, but it is not fair to say that IPL fosters rigging in cricket. There have been instances of some unsavoury instances in the past even in international cricket as well. I am pointing this out only to say that there will always be someone shrewd enough to find ways and means to taint the sport. Let us also not lose sight of the fact that other sports have been subjected to disrepute in one way or the other. This does not mean that the BCCI can let things be as they are but to be fair, the BCCI has always taken action as and when something was proved with evidence. Right now, the BCCI has to wait till the law and order authorities complete their investigation to decide on the course of action as otherwise, the BCCI can be challenged legally on various counts.

The problem is not uni-dimensional as the players are susceptible to get carried away by the perceived “fame” which makes them think they are omnipotent. This is due to all the attention they get during the high profile IPL. The tragedy is that the younger lot has not learnt lessons from the past or have even thought of the trauma that they inflict on their families, fans and colleagues with their actions. It is not about what the laws are, but it is about the individuals’ perception and their mindsets. They will be better off to realise that hobnobbing with the celebrities for a few weeks during the IPL does not make them invincible. That the enormously successful celebrities have attained their stature and affluence only through hard work over a period of decades is often overlooked. The IPL has been a platform for the least fancied and good first class cricketers to play with and against some great cricketers apart from making more money than they would otherwise. Unfortunately, it does seem that some are ignorant of the verities of life and hopefully the current episode will deter the rest in the game from deviating from the norm.