Although the BCCI has cleared itself of any wrongdoing in the Indian Premier League corruption cases, the Supreme Court has come down strongly on the cash-rich cricketing body, questioning the manner of its conduct in connection with corruption in the IPL. The SC has also raised the issue of conflict of interest in connection to N Srinivasan, who is the suspended BCCI chief as well as the owner of India cements. It cheekily asked, who selects Team India -- BCCI or India Cements? Further, it also questioned MS Dhoni's role as India captain and vice-president of India Cements. Not least of all, the SC wondered why Chennai Super Kings aren't being disqualified in spite if breaking the IPL code of conduct.
The observations by the apex court make it pretty clear that they are not too fond over the manner in which the BCCI is running the IPL, as well as the kind of measures they are taking to try and curb corruption in the domestic league. At least, after the SC reprimand, the BCCI must show some proactiveness and take measures to indicate that they are serious about curbing everything that is wrong with the IPL and the manner of its functioning. It is already too late, as the rot in the IPL has extended beyond what was initially believed. But, as the old saying goes, better late than never.
In the wake of what has transpired over the last year or so, considering shutting down the controversial league will be the best option. It might not be a feasible choice for BCCI who, for sure, wouldn't even be considering it. But, enough had gone wrong in the league over the years, specially in the last two seasons, for the curtains to be brought down on the league, which anyways offers mediocre cricket (if we can call that so), and plenty of meaningless games. If the harsh step is taken, corruption in Indian cricket would obviously reduce, though it won't completely cease to exist, since the lure of very easy money would be taken away to some extent.
The Indian Premier League kicked off in 2008 on a very promising note. There was excitement all over as people saw Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya opening the innings, and later viewed the unthinkable -- Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh turning out for the same side. But, over the years, cricket has definitely taken the backseat. One controversy after the other has hit the league. From Lalit Modi being thrown out as IPL commissioner to little-known players being suspended for being in touch with bookmakers. And then, all hell broke loose when a World Cup-winning Indian player was caught in a spot fixing tangle -- the erratic S. Sreesanth.
Due to the number of controversies that have hit the Indian T20 league in recent times, Indian cricket team's reputation has been put at stake. The man, who is the helm at ICC, is actually being questioned over the kind of role he is playing in Indian cricket. It is really an ironical situation for Indian cricket and the ICC as well. The man who is expected to clean up things himself is caught up, with his name being cropped up in numerous controversies. How the BCCI will deal with this massive crisis is a million dollar question. If no swift action is taken on SC observations soon, it would be a clear statement that the BCCI is least concerned about Indian cricket.
--By A Cricket Analyst