The recent sting operation by India TV exposed five cricketers who were caught asking for money to bowl no-balls. It’s not as if the earth stopped moving after watching the video (Skip the bullshit, the real action starts at 8:08)
Before anything else, let me make it clear that I don’t take sting operations very seriously. It’s a cheap trick to play, and there is no guarantee that the person is speaking the truth in the first place. Now, if you take Shakti Kapoor, who has spent 15 years of his life playing lecherous characters, get him drunk, and put a hot woman in front of him, obviously he’ll say that the entire industry engages in casting couch. What did they expect? He’ll say “Nahi, beti. Aise kaam nahi karte. Ghar jaake so jao!” ?? In fact, my respect grew for Shakti Kapoor because he didn’t pounce on the girl right away.
Now, if Shalabh Srivastav has to convince the ‘stinger’ to get some money, he has to act cool and nonchalant about it, saying that everyone does it. I am not saying that the IPL is clean as Chidambaram’s chit, just that you can’t take someone’s words seriously when they’re trying to impress someone else.
And also, the IPL was never known to be a fully transparent organisation. Since its inception, unlisted companies with shady backgrounds have been a part of it. Take for example the case of Modi’s kin having stakes in many of the franchises. Or the rules being bent for RCB to buy Chris Gayle in the middle of the 4th season, where he went on to slam his team into the finals. Or how the BCCI is the only organisation where politicians from every major political party work together for the betterment of the game. Or simply how Laxman Sivaramakrishnan is allowed to commentate when he clearly is less interesting than a Class 8 Chemistry teacher.
When the IPL became the money-spinning monster that it is now, many of the veteran sages of the game (Shastri, Gavaskar) had said that the league would primarily benefit domestic players. One cannot deny that salaries have shot up. While a domestic player would earn 450 rupees per day in the 90s, he earns 35,000 per day of a domestic test match. Compare that to the $4.13 billion it earns (figures of 2010) yearly, and it is chickenfeed. The BCCI shares 26% of its profits with the players, the major chunk of it goes to its bigger stars.
Now, to come to the Shit by the Pool theory. Suppose you went to swim in a pool. After a lap, you stop to take rest and notice that there is some pigeon droppings by the side of the pool. Do you feel happy that the shit is not inside the pool you’re swimming in? Or would you assume that there might be lots of shit in the pool too?
Everyone knows that the IPL is a murky field. If India TV wanted to do some serious journalism, they should have asked how people like Vilasrao Deshmukh and Arun Jaitley have such a strong hold over the BCCI? How can the owner of one of the teams be the President of the BCCI? Why does the BCCI not open its accounts for scrutiny under the RTI? Give us that, and then we’ll bother. What’s the point of faaltu mein ruining the careers of five players we haven’t even heard of?
Slowly but surely, this news will pass. Sidhu will say something like “Oye, Guru! Pride is like an underwear. Once there are holes, you cannot wear it.” The Sports Minister will make a little fuss about it. India TV will play the video till the 2014 General Elections.
By the way, aaj kiska match hai?