The IPL – the slam bang version of cricket has been the mother of all controversies but the latest spat which occurred is a mistier one and can even get superior to the IPL.
The IPL started in the year 2008 and was seen as an invention, a revolution and an innovation which stormed the world through its unprecedented success and getting parity with the EPL in terms of money involved. Its success was attributed to Lalit Modi who single handedly managed the affair. He even dared to take it to South Africa when last year due to elections and security fears, government ordered that the IPL cannot be hosted in the country. But the madcap that he is, he took the challenge and went a step forward by taking the game to SA and tasted success. He glamourized this event by involving big business houses, Bollywood celebrities and big cricketers. Eventually these things led to shower of money when the bidding process for the 2 new IPL teams took place.
The IPL was always blamed for shelving the GAME and that it’s not about cricket but it’s a ”PAISA” league where politics and money rules the game and it’s not the game due to which the money is approaching. Critics used to say that the IPL is implanted between showbiz, politics and commercials.
The concept somehow seems to be real due to the recent events which took place in the cricketing world. We are witnessing allegations, counter allegations and blame games for the past few days.
Let me give you a passing summary of what happened:
The IPL commissioner, Modi, for the very first time did a good job by revealing the shareholding pattern of rendezvous franchise, but he should have done it using the media instead he choose his twitter account for disclosing it. He wrote in his account “Who are the shareholders of rendezvous. And why have they been given this 100s of million dollar bonanza?” he further tweeted that Rendezvous free equity – held by Kisan, Shailender & Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulathi, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad, Sundip Agarwal.
The tweet took an ugly turn due to the free equity share of 18% given to Sunanda Pushkar, who is said to be the wife-to-be of a junior minister and the allegations are that the stake is of Tharoor, which he got due to his role in helping Kochi bag the team.
Tharoor said that the allegations are groundless and have been made so as to defame him and reasserts that his only role in the Kochi bid was that of an advisor and mentor and neither he invested nor received a rupee for mentorship of the team. His close aids however alleged that Modi tried to buy out the consortium with an offer of $ 50 million. He went a step further and alleged that Modi threatened to make the Kochi franchise unworkable. He demanded that the details of ownership pattern of other IPL teams should be made public in which Modi is alleged to have stakes. Moreover, three of Modi’s relatives are in the IPL according to the Tharoor camp.
The BCCI is working on the complaint of Venugopal who owns 1% stake in Kochi, BCCI chief pounded Modi and said “Your making such statements is detrimental to the interests of the board.” And that he would take up the issue at the governing council meeting to be convened shortly.
Meanwhile Modi denied the allegations and said that it wasn’t him but the franchise that was at fault.
Now as things are getting murkier, they took a new turn when the BJP and the Left demanded the center to sack Tharoor and set up an investigation team who can look into the matter. The Congress has distanced itself from this matter by saying that it is his personal matter.
As the parliament session starts from today and seeing the sensitivity of the matter Sonia Gandhi met with senior leaders of congress. However allegations from both sides are taking an ugly turn. The latest is that “Modi told bidders how much money to bid in the auction”
In the coming days we can see Tharoor being sacked, because the government is confronted with many problems at the moment such as naxals insurgency, women bills, finance bills and many more and will not give opposition to another issue as it is facing a tough time. One more reason for him losing his job would be the controversy that he creates, from cattle class to interlocutor. In all these controversies the congress has to eat crow. His own party men are of the view that he regularly lied in this matter so all this can prove deadly for the man who once was the number 2 in the UN.
Talking about Modi he will also face the heat once the BCCI committee sits after 10 days. His image has been tarnished and he will have to face more consequences in coming days as he is accused of disrupting the rules of his own game and making a mockery of the system. Moreover, according to me, he will be reprimanded and as his tenure as commissioner ends this year so BCCI will not offer him another tenure. But due to his backstage shares he will be devising money.
But the bigger question is WHERE IS INDIAN CRICKET HEADING FORWARD TO?
The allegation by the Tharoor camp on Modi directly blames the operation of cricket being run in our country. This will further lead to a bad name for the IPL and the BCCI worldwide who are always blamed for their money power. Our cricket is facing the same situation as in 1999 when the allegation of match fixing erupted during the NDA regime and we all know that it took years for our country to settle down after the disaster. This event can have the same bearings as it can ruin the dreams of Modi. All the contracts, billion dollars valuations, TV ratings, advertisements and the charm of T20 will be ruined.
All is at stake, so the need of the hour is that the BCCI and the government of India should step in and seriously work so in order to remove the grey areas and should bring the truth forward. The BCCI should ensure that the membership pattern of all teams should be declared and the entire unanswered question should be made public. BCCI should ensure transparency in its system because now the time for change has come.
The writer is a Sports Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz.