IPL, the Indian Premier League has many faces to it all of them are coming to surface in this season. 2010 is the third season of IPL, which started with a lot of hue and cry, when no Pakistani player found a buyer in the IPL auction. ICC rejected the Pakistan Cricket Board’s complaint against the Indian Premier League for snubbing Pakistani players, saying that it cannot act against a domestic event. But Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan supported the Pakistani players’ participation in the Indian Premier League.
Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs of India became a part of the IPL controversies when his relationship with Sunanda Pushkar and involvement in IPL Kochi Team were revealed by the media. Sunanda’s name came up as owner of IPL Kochi team. She was the part of a consortium Rendezvous Sports Pvt. Ltd which owns 25% of the Indian IPL Kochi team. Out of this 18% belongs to her.
Lalit Modi revealed the names of the owners of the new IPL Kochi Team in a Twitter message. He wrote that he was asked not to get into too much details about the owners of Rendezvous Sports World Pvt. Ltd especially, Sunanda Pushkar. The value of Pushkar’s share is worth $15.82 million (about Rs. 70 crore). Shashi Tharoor was accused of playing a big role in mentoring Rendezvous Sports Pvt. Ltd through Sunnanda Pushkar thus also having a major say in the IPL Kochi team. This deep play on the minister’s part is the clear indication of IPL’s future of turning into Indian Political League.
Growing controversies might spell disaster for the game in India as Cricket has taken a backseat and the growing headlines about the financial frauds, backhand deals and political games have surrounded IPL off-the —field.
IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi is accused by the Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of several land scams in the state with support of former CM Vasundhara Raje. Speaking out for the first time on the issue the CM claimed that ministers, politicians and bureaucrats had to wait outside Modi’s hotel room for project clearances throughout Raje’s five-year term in Rajasthan. The CM has not proven an iota of truth in the statement yet.
The BCCI may not have completely sacked Modi from his post, but will curb his powers significantly. Lalit Modi seems to be walking the tight rope,with the Indian government getting involved, and a parliamentary probe team likely to be set up for investigation on how IPL functions. Modi is expected to be called for further questioning for issue concerning, the payments to three teams through off shore equities. The fact that the bidding files of Videocon and Adani were lost and then found in a mysterious manner has also made the investigation necessary.
On asking what people feel about the endless controversies related to IPL , Dr.Rahul Gaur, a senior scientist with the multinational firm said, “IPL is affecting the health of Cricket in an adverse manner; with two matches happening a day it has turned into a golden goose for the bidders.” The young generation is not fooled and beguiled by the charm of White cheerleaders.IPL has turned into the Indian Paisa League, attracting Bollywood celebrities and the business giants, all looking for quick money opportunity.
Deepa Sharma, a homemaker believes that players are no longer concerned about winning the matches as they are already sold and paid during the bidding process. Cricket is losing its glory as the 24×7 matches tire the audience and the players. While a young Delhi based school teacher, Arpita Katyal states that no one is clean in IPL. She thinks, Modi is facing the reaction of entrapping the State minster. Modi is the brain behind IPL therefore should be respected while hypocrites like Shah Rukh Khan who favor the bidding for Pakistani players yet bid for none this season should be questioned.
Tanuj Joshi, a student at New York State University opines that media and politicians are “trying to target people who have power and control because when they see an entity with so much money and profit and fame (celebs) of which they themselves are not a part of they feel jealous.” Adding further he says IPL matches “can bring some kind of tension in the national squad which is not good for the national team”.
All such comments make one thing crystal clear that IPL is more than healthy Cricket and its expanse is not limited to Indian Premier League but to Indian politics and paisa as well.
What are your views?