April 24, 2010

Indian Premier League

IPL baby, IPL bathwater

Jamie Alter
Lalit Modi taps away on his laptop, Mumbai, January 19, 2010
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Politics has not just got mixed up with cricket, it is now threatening to overwhelm and damage it, writes Shekhar Gupta in the Indian Express. It would be tragic if just because of the shenanigans of a chosen few who have operated for six years as if they “own” the game, IPL itself were to acquire a bad name.

Armies of taxmen are now raiding anybody with anything to do with cricket as if they have busted the underground network of Dawood Ibrahim or discovered the headquarters of Lashkar-e-Toiba. There are weird demands to ban IPL, nationalise BCCI. Even usually sensible people are saying BCCI should be made a statutory but “autonomous” body. All of this is dangerous for India’s cricket and must stop. Indian cricket has never been in better shape. IPL is the finest new Indian brand of global value.

The weekly newsmagazine India Today analyses the IPL scandal, from the exit of Shashi Tharoor to the attempts to oust Lalit Modi.

In the Hindustan Times, Pradeep Magazine writes that the BCCI must put its foot down.

To show their positive intent, the first thing that Manohar should do is to restore the amended clause in the Board's constitution which barred a member from being part of any group which has business deal- ings with it. Not only has Modi to go, even Srinivasan should be told to choose between being a fran- chisee or a Board member.

Anand Vasu, in his blog for the same newspaper, says that if we all enjoyed the IPL, which certainly seemed the case, we should at least give Modi the opportunity to defend himself, or resign. What’s that phrase about giving the devil his due?

Surjit S Bhalla, in Business Standard, asks why Indian politicians are so bothered about promoting cricket in India when they, by their own admission, are overburdened with work and especially work that is in the service of the nation.

The Indian Express has a long profile of Lalit Modi, outlining his rise to becoming one of the most powerful men in cricket.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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