May 16, 2012

Indian Premier League

Where's the accountability?

Akhila Ranganna

The IPL governing council has suspended the five players named by a sting operation alleging corruption until an inquiry into the accusations is conducted. However, suspension isn’t enough, writes Sandeep Dwivedi in the Indian Express, the BCCI now needs to get to the bottom of the IPL scandal.

The high-profile owners enjoy a distinct advantage since the IPL, as promised at its inception, doesn’t really provide a level-playing field. Player retention has been a prickly issue and that too needs to be more transparent. The close study of player-owner contracts shouldn’t just stop with the likes of Pandey, Srivastava or Mishra. Why not make the icon players’ salaries public as well?

But therein lies the problem. When the president of the BCCI himself owns an IPL franchise, lines blur and probes could run into walls
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There is nothing new about the IPL mess, writes former India cricketer and now member of parliament Kirti Azad in DNA. All that has happened is that the league has spawned a deeper mess.

The parliamentary affairs minister (read Rajiv Shukla), who is hardly seen in Parliament, is the first to rubbish the allegations, and goes on to give to anybody who cares to listen, homilies about not getting swayed by hearsay, and seeks to deflect the core issue by appointing some committee to probe the allegations. And, suddenly we have heavyweight politicians, who are all associated with some cricket association or the other, jumping into the fray and helping to obfuscate issues.

An editorial in the same newspaper states that the BCCI cannot escape blame - it has also contributed to the present state of affairs.

N Anathanarayanan in the Hindustan Times writes that while the Indian board floats in money, it fights shy of taking issues head on. Will the larger issues be swept under the carpet, he asks.

While players face action after purportedly claiming to the TV reporters that they might agree to spot-fix, what about their claims that franchises pay in black to buy players? Why the delay in announcing an investigation into this claim? It doesn't reflect well on the senior board officials, especially with the BCCI president himself owning a franchise
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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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