Friday, May 17, 2013

IPL - the lesson that needs to be learnt

               Indian Premier League and corruption seem to be twin flavours of the season. Two of the most “happening” things which have been consuming greater amount of newsprint, in the recent past, than anything else. Both the flavours have now emerged in a blend which must be causing immense discomfiture to connoisseurs of cricket.
            The brouhaha over the recent scandal, however, begs the question – is the misconduct, of the established and the aspiring alike, against the grain or is it that the straw in the wind was overlooked until it hit the eye and caused copious shedding of tears.
            Undoubtedly, defenders of the orgy that was introduced in the name of cricket at its entertaining best half-a-decade ago, will be up on their feet and once again point towards incidents of "match-fixing" that have blemished the  more respectable forms of the game. Moral turpitude can afflict the most noble of human endeavours.
           However, when soldiers are encouraged to become mercenaries, depravity becomes inevitable. A sense of identification is invaluable when it comes to bringing about a sense of ethics and discipline. What are the cricketers expected to identify themselves with while taking part in the extravaganza in which they gain entry through a system of putting oneself on sale. 
           The extra-ordinary "prices" for which the sporting icons are bought becomes an occasion for applause. The irony is lost on the applauders who fail to note that was the very method by which slaves were bought in the medieval times. And a slave knows no morality. He is concerned only with survival. He will live by only one rule - serve whoever pays you the most! 
           In essence, what the recently-disgraced figures have done is nothing more, nothing less.
            The all-powerful BCCI had begotten the IPL to crush an attempt by some renegades' attempt to challenge its hegemony. The Board could not have been more successful in achieving its objective. Now it is high time that a rethink was done on continuing with the "tamasha" that has played havoc with players' fitness levels, turned the concept of bonding between fans and the sport on its head and done little to make any positive contribution to the sport per se. 
            Cricket is a game wherein a tiny ball occupies a very important place. Thirteen players, eleven from one side and two from the other, besides the umpires spend hours chasing its every moment. IPL has reduced the ball's status to that of the cheer girls who are made to cheerfully accept their status as objects of titillation. Is it any great surprise that most of the players who are being currently put on trial are bowlers? 
            The world may be gung-ho over Chris Gayle's fastest century. But the strapping Jamaican would have been undoubtedly happier scoring his third triple century than setting a so-called record which was not much more than feats of strength displayed by college-goers to make an impression. 
             Making a mistake is always pardonable, but failing to learn the lesson is not. One hopes that the BCCI, the only sporting body in India which is taken seriously beyond the country's borders, puts an end to the Indian Paisa League.