Corruption in IPL May 25, 2013

The mess in the message

As the game unravels outside, India's cricket bosses play defiant and dumb
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It is the day before the IPL final; two-time champions Chennai Super Kings will play Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens and the operations team is trying its best to ensure that Indian cricket's alternative universe will be in smooth functioning order.

Outside, it is anything but. Three cricketers belonging to Rajasthan Royals, who lost the second qualifier, will remain in a Delhi Police lock-up as the final is played. Hundreds of miles south, an official/owner/team principal of Super Kings will spend the night of the final with the crime branch of the Mumbai Police. The day before the game, rather than strut around Kolkata with the team, Gurunath Meiyappan was brought to court and formally charged with 12 violations of three separate laws.

The most emphatic, definitive piece of news on this day before the final was BCCI president N Srinivasan telling a scrum of reporters wherever he went that he would not resign. "There is no need. I have done nothing wrong." Oh, and the final is actually going to go ahead - that information was passed on to a waiting pack of cameramen through a car window by IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla.

Right there, on this day, we saw the BCCI holding up a mirror up to itself. Not as governors of the world's wealthiest domestic T20 league, the head honchos of the world game in resources and audience. The mirror showed up an organisation, across the highest ranks of its leadership, out of touch with the requirements of reality.

Dealing with the dizzy speed at which events have moved over the past few days, damaging the credibility of the IPL itself, required sagacity and action.

What it got from Srinivasan was disdain over questions about his situation and his three-pronged existential dilemma, a conflict of interests come to horrifying life. Something has gone terribly wrong with his board's biggest tournament, the IPL team he owns and his son-in-law, whom he put in charge of that very team.

Yet the single refrain heard from Srinivasan on the eve of the IPL final was a hectoring, focused around himself and his position: "I have done nothing wrong. I am sorry. I cannot be bulldozed and I will not allow the press or the others to railroad me." This from a "man of cricket," when the cricket under his watch unravels at high speed.

At a time when police across cities in India are reeling in bookies who are then singing about cricketing criminality in full chorus, what the IPL and Indian cricket needed through Shukla and the BCCI was an acknowledgement of a state of emergency in Indian cricket and transparency about its future course of action, both before and after the IPL final. What we needed was a statement, a signal, anything to indicate that the BCCI was seized of Gurunath's arrest and its implications. What we got was silence and opacity.

The IPL now runs on such an operational auto-pilot that it found no cause to add to its "four million and counting" tweets, by assuring the outer world - the audience it feeds into and lives off - that Gurunath's arrest would have no impact on either the IPL final or Super Kings for the next two days. Until Shukla formally tossed a few crumbs of comments to television.

All the IPL has done in the 24 hours since Gurunath's arrest is, issue a code of conduct warning to Dwayne Smith, and remove the "Fair Play Award" category from its webpage. The latter with good reason: Three players and an official from the two teams at the top of that Fair Play table are at the moment in police custody, having their sense of fair play questioned.

The IPL's governing council and the BCCI's powerbrokers are, give or take a few, the same people. Those who amended the BCCI's constitution to allow board members - starting with Srinivasan himself - to have a "commercial interest" in events related to the board. No wonder, then, that on Saturday the BCCI's priorities immediately turned to tackling its power crisis and letting IPL 2013 run itself out. There was little attention given to rescuing the image of the league, to stop it from running aground, and setting it back on even keel.

Under the Srinivasan regime, the urge to control the message around Indian cricket has become so reflexive that in a time of a crisis the immediate response was to hold back giving out any message. This method may have worked in the 1970s but in a 24/7 information age it showed the board as out of touch with its audience and its time. It proved that in the board, whether controlled by Srinivasan or Shukla or any of their kind, governance and a sense of responsibility remain truly shipwrecked.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nicks7am on May 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Sharda, hats-off. in the midst of all this murky muddy affairs, you stand out like a lone star. I hope and pray you continue to stand by your views. I am in early 40s so i have a perspective of what good was like 20 years ago. Our children of this generation do not - All they say see is this - what happens today so i worry that they don't end up believing this is normal behaviour - i hope and pray they dont end up thinking it's okay to game a few games.. which everybody does. Articles like yours' i pray hopefully calibrate their morality beacon - beyond cricket.

  • jay57870 on May 28, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Sharda - You missed another strong "message": Dhoni & his CSK team did win the IPL 6 Fair Play award! For "good reason": on-field conduct as adjudged by the umpires! Simply put, the CSK official in question is not a player. Which goes to show in Indian cricket, there's a big distinction between players & officials. The great players - Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble, Laxman & Co - have demonstrated integrity & loyalty, notwithstanding BCCI. Remember they did the heavy lifting to get Team India out of the abyss of the 2000 match-fixing scam. Now we face this spot-fixing scam. As the cleaning-up process continues, the retired players' participation in shaping the future of Indian cricket, administration included, should be solicited. Better still, they should volunteer their services. They're too good a resource to waste or throw out with the proverbial bathwater. The media would do well to help push this positive message: Facilitate solutions rather than ask more questions, Sharda!

  • jay57870 on May 28, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    Sharda - The "message" was delivered loud & clear on Sunday in Kolkata! This is Kolkata - home of KKR - a neutral venue hosting a MI-CSK finals. Yes, Kolkata where people voice their opinions openly & fearlessly. In fact, there were several messages. A sellout crowd of 70,000 responded - to the on-field action at the historic Eden - with a resounding "the show must go on"! Dravid was right in proclaiming: "No point cancelling the tournament". The game is larger than any individual, good or bad. Earlier, N Srinivasan reiterated his "message" at a press conference - amid a barrage of hostile questions - that he would not resign as he had done nothing wrong. Yes, they booed the embattled BCCI chief at the presentation ceremony. Yes, they cheered Tendulkar as his triumphant teammates paraded him on their shoulders. It's an extreme anomaly: Sachin's retiring from IPL, as is Rahul! Srinivasan will stay on, maybe till the September AGM! Yes, it's a big mess & a media circus to boot, Sharda!

  • bobbo2 on May 26, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    The IPL is cartoon cricket and all the corruption only reinforces its irrelevance. Have not bothered to even check a "result".

  • on May 26, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Ms Ugra I am not fully agree with your comment. If there is a rotten potato in the bag we dont throw the bag but we just throw the rotten potato in garbage. What Mr. Srinivasan is saying is right there is no evidence that he is involved so why should he resign? Ya u can say that he can influence the proceeding as the person involved is family member but then too it doesnt means he resign secondly regarding CSK what player and support staff have done to dissolve CSK team. No player is involved till date investigation and thirdly Fixing and betting are two different thing betting involves any body even household person you also bet for some thing with your friend but fixing hurts as it is cheating to self, country, team and all the loved ones( fans and family members, friends) for few extra bucks trying to change the situation of game and just reacting as you are innocent and making others to believe in this many sports have fixing allegation and history but we didnt stopped that game.

  • luks on May 26, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    There used to be a time, not so long ago, when the mere scent of the scandal, would cause the voluntary resignation of the leader of an organization. Not any more. When there are so many problems under the hood, even if Srini is not directly involved, he has failed as leader. He may not be directly involved or legally held responsible. And, surely we all know how people can exploit loopholes to avoid legal responsibility (like for example saying that his son-in-law was only a honorary member, yeah right). But, he is disgusting to say the least. Deeply sickening.

  • on May 26, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Agree. With Ms. Ugra, sad nothing will be done,we can all shout ourselves hoarse about conflict of interest and corruption but hey in this bcci no one gives a damn about the true lovers of the game. People like you and me, fans are just to be rubbished and treated with disdain. I have loved cricket all my life to the extent that my family and friends laugh that it is the most important thing in my life, and it is on par with all, but today I am hurt and sad, not so much with the players like sree, but the officials who are supposed to be the custodians of the game. Please treat my beloved game and us fans with respect. Why are the great Indian players of the past quiet, or are they so used to free bread and butter with a bit of cement thrown in.

  • on May 26, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I think the so called intelectuals are out of touch with the public. As we have seen recently in Karnataka, the public has already discounted corruption as a national phenomenon and moved forward.The full stadiums after the spot fixing news breakout show that people take IPL for what it is , an entertainment and do not care whether it is fixed or unfixed.Just like WWE. People who talk of the spirit of cricket , please go watch test cricket, which also is not free of these problems.We go to a thriller movie knowing that the end result is already fixed and still enjoy it for the way it is presented.

  • on May 26, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    I think that the IPL is the best thing that has ever happened to cricket. I do not think it should be banned. The concept is superb. It engenders international and regional harmony. I would not like a return to the days when cricket was almost synonymous with xenophobia and fake nationalism. If there is a spate of bank robberies, do we ban and close down the banks. Some people are very negative and defeatist. Certainly, a full investigation is in order. Some players, bookies and some of the administrators are guilty. Investigate and punish them, not the game itself, for God's sake!

  • AnotherBindibooman on May 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    @Nicks7am - I am a bit confused. Are you implying that the game of cricket was good 20 years back? If anything it was even more corrupt I think. I just finished watching the tehelka tapes. Oh and btw Sharda's articles are as usual, great.

  • Nicks7am on May 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Sharda, hats-off. in the midst of all this murky muddy affairs, you stand out like a lone star. I hope and pray you continue to stand by your views. I am in early 40s so i have a perspective of what good was like 20 years ago. Our children of this generation do not - All they say see is this - what happens today so i worry that they don't end up believing this is normal behaviour - i hope and pray they dont end up thinking it's okay to game a few games.. which everybody does. Articles like yours' i pray hopefully calibrate their morality beacon - beyond cricket.

  • jay57870 on May 28, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Sharda - You missed another strong "message": Dhoni & his CSK team did win the IPL 6 Fair Play award! For "good reason": on-field conduct as adjudged by the umpires! Simply put, the CSK official in question is not a player. Which goes to show in Indian cricket, there's a big distinction between players & officials. The great players - Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble, Laxman & Co - have demonstrated integrity & loyalty, notwithstanding BCCI. Remember they did the heavy lifting to get Team India out of the abyss of the 2000 match-fixing scam. Now we face this spot-fixing scam. As the cleaning-up process continues, the retired players' participation in shaping the future of Indian cricket, administration included, should be solicited. Better still, they should volunteer their services. They're too good a resource to waste or throw out with the proverbial bathwater. The media would do well to help push this positive message: Facilitate solutions rather than ask more questions, Sharda!

  • jay57870 on May 28, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    Sharda - The "message" was delivered loud & clear on Sunday in Kolkata! This is Kolkata - home of KKR - a neutral venue hosting a MI-CSK finals. Yes, Kolkata where people voice their opinions openly & fearlessly. In fact, there were several messages. A sellout crowd of 70,000 responded - to the on-field action at the historic Eden - with a resounding "the show must go on"! Dravid was right in proclaiming: "No point cancelling the tournament". The game is larger than any individual, good or bad. Earlier, N Srinivasan reiterated his "message" at a press conference - amid a barrage of hostile questions - that he would not resign as he had done nothing wrong. Yes, they booed the embattled BCCI chief at the presentation ceremony. Yes, they cheered Tendulkar as his triumphant teammates paraded him on their shoulders. It's an extreme anomaly: Sachin's retiring from IPL, as is Rahul! Srinivasan will stay on, maybe till the September AGM! Yes, it's a big mess & a media circus to boot, Sharda!

  • bobbo2 on May 26, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    The IPL is cartoon cricket and all the corruption only reinforces its irrelevance. Have not bothered to even check a "result".

  • on May 26, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Ms Ugra I am not fully agree with your comment. If there is a rotten potato in the bag we dont throw the bag but we just throw the rotten potato in garbage. What Mr. Srinivasan is saying is right there is no evidence that he is involved so why should he resign? Ya u can say that he can influence the proceeding as the person involved is family member but then too it doesnt means he resign secondly regarding CSK what player and support staff have done to dissolve CSK team. No player is involved till date investigation and thirdly Fixing and betting are two different thing betting involves any body even household person you also bet for some thing with your friend but fixing hurts as it is cheating to self, country, team and all the loved ones( fans and family members, friends) for few extra bucks trying to change the situation of game and just reacting as you are innocent and making others to believe in this many sports have fixing allegation and history but we didnt stopped that game.

  • luks on May 26, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    There used to be a time, not so long ago, when the mere scent of the scandal, would cause the voluntary resignation of the leader of an organization. Not any more. When there are so many problems under the hood, even if Srini is not directly involved, he has failed as leader. He may not be directly involved or legally held responsible. And, surely we all know how people can exploit loopholes to avoid legal responsibility (like for example saying that his son-in-law was only a honorary member, yeah right). But, he is disgusting to say the least. Deeply sickening.

  • on May 26, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Agree. With Ms. Ugra, sad nothing will be done,we can all shout ourselves hoarse about conflict of interest and corruption but hey in this bcci no one gives a damn about the true lovers of the game. People like you and me, fans are just to be rubbished and treated with disdain. I have loved cricket all my life to the extent that my family and friends laugh that it is the most important thing in my life, and it is on par with all, but today I am hurt and sad, not so much with the players like sree, but the officials who are supposed to be the custodians of the game. Please treat my beloved game and us fans with respect. Why are the great Indian players of the past quiet, or are they so used to free bread and butter with a bit of cement thrown in.

  • on May 26, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I think the so called intelectuals are out of touch with the public. As we have seen recently in Karnataka, the public has already discounted corruption as a national phenomenon and moved forward.The full stadiums after the spot fixing news breakout show that people take IPL for what it is , an entertainment and do not care whether it is fixed or unfixed.Just like WWE. People who talk of the spirit of cricket , please go watch test cricket, which also is not free of these problems.We go to a thriller movie knowing that the end result is already fixed and still enjoy it for the way it is presented.

  • on May 26, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    I think that the IPL is the best thing that has ever happened to cricket. I do not think it should be banned. The concept is superb. It engenders international and regional harmony. I would not like a return to the days when cricket was almost synonymous with xenophobia and fake nationalism. If there is a spate of bank robberies, do we ban and close down the banks. Some people are very negative and defeatist. Certainly, a full investigation is in order. Some players, bookies and some of the administrators are guilty. Investigate and punish them, not the game itself, for God's sake!

  • AnotherBindibooman on May 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    @Nicks7am - I am a bit confused. Are you implying that the game of cricket was good 20 years back? If anything it was even more corrupt I think. I just finished watching the tehelka tapes. Oh and btw Sharda's articles are as usual, great.

  • on May 26, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Well said Ma'm. Already the IPL had alienated the average and genuine cricket lover by making the tickets astronomically priced. With this spot fixing saga and the response of the powers that be, even the ardent IPL lover would be forced to reject it in disgust and disbelief.

  • HarshaFollower on May 26, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Sharda Once again great and timely article. The paragraph "At a time when police across cities" pretty much sums up the handling of this issue by administration of possibly the richest sports in the world. It is just disgusting to believe and see that none of the top brass or those involved in conducting the sport are even making an attempt to suggest actions that are needed and cool down the disgust (not the pain, since it will remain for sometime) of the millions of fans and outraged people. Clearly, seems like they do not realize, no fans means no money for them.

  • Nicks7am on May 26, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    So, my nephew who is 13 years old is watching TV all week and is reading newspapers. He is asking me who is 'right' and 'what is the right thing' to do. He follows CSK die-hard and has seen Meiappan and CSK numerous times, including auction biddings. And he is asking me to explain what does India Cements statement mean ? so what am i going to say to him?????

  • amitgarg78 on May 26, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    It's amusing to read the moralistic sermons on Indian society, corruption and all other ills from those outside. It's easy to lose perspective and forget that this was not the first time cricket has encountered it. English county still has an open case. If anything, BCCI has been the first board to keep the guilty ones out of sport. SA, Australia let their accused players get back to the game while jadeja, azhar have not found a way back in proper cricket, a few commentary stints aside. Lets not lose sight of the fact that those involved are all humans and each of us is corruptible. Corruption is not a problem unique to India.

  • Bakhtiar_Wain on May 26, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    IPL should be suspended till the mess is cleared to the satisfaction of ICC. But can the betting mess ever be cleaned up in Indai? I dont really understand with betting being illegal, why does the whole probe stops @ catching some small fishes that are involved. Why cant the Indian police get hold of the main mafiasos that run this multi billion dollar betting industry. If the illegal betting continues to exist, individuals will fall prey to greed............. so the clean up has to start from the top and not bottom.

  • peterss on May 26, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    @TNAmarkFromIndia and others with similar views that CSK should be terminated. Please dont be saw losers if you cant beat chennai. Its betting for god sake, anyone can bet and its legal in some countries! NOT FIXING! If it was fixing, please eradicate whole of csk! DOnt search for reasons if u can beat csk!

  • CSKFan1 on May 26, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Funny that one team is being targeted and that too before a final and that too when other franchisees have had dubious deals investigated in the past like RR, Kings XI etc and of course Pune Warriors.

    Agreed corrution and the corrupt should go but why only CSK ? !! RR had 3 players caught cheating, have they brought glory to the franchisee and the league ? Was RR terminated ? Very uncomfortable questions indeed to the baying crowd.

    Most of them need to go and get a life !!

  • TNAmarkFromIndia on May 26, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    For the sake of the credibility of the IPL, the CSK franchise should be terminated. It's stated pretty clearly in the IPL Rulebook that if any team official/owner in any way brings disrepute to the IPL, BCCI and/or the game of cricket, the franchise will be terminated. If the franchise is not terminated in this case, the people will lose faith in the IPL. There is an obvious lack of transparency in the way BCCI handle their business.

  • on May 26, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    There's an old saying ... "Money is the root of all evil"..This latest episode proves that beyond any shadow of a doubt and so long as Indian cricket is run by business people, who instinctively look for profit, it will never change. This greed for more and even more money is like a cancer.. Look at the problems money has already caused, with players preferring to risk their international careers for few quick bucks... Some people predicted at the outset, that this greed would eventually destroy the IPL and its ilk... and who knows, this may well be the start of that destruction... because you can rest assured, what we have here is merely the tip of an iceberg.

  • Nutcutlet on May 26, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    I have long thought that the BCCI's mantra was: Never discuss. Never explain. Now I think that, as currently constituted: Never discussed. Never explained, would be an appropriate epitaph. Perhaps when the BCCI has been cleaned up (and implicitly its favourite child, the IPL, given a good scrub in the bath) there will be people in charge who put the good of cricket above personal gain, who put balm on the deep wounds that their predecessors have inflicted. It has been obvious to me that this was always coming; the rumbles coming out of India that the cricket world has been listening to for some while were not thunder; they were the beginnings of something seismic. Pls publish.

  • on May 26, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    It is not too late to do something to save the real face of cricket, not only the IPL the whole the cricket need to cleaned up. We need to keep cricket away from these businessmen those who always think money more than cricket. BCCI chairman owns one franchise itself is not ethically correct and this allows lot of power play lobbies.

  • on May 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    @ Amit Rathi. If what you say is true, it proves that you CAN in fact fool all of the people all of the time. Is it any wonder that Indian cricket is held in such low esteem by most of the rest of the cricketing nations. The popularity of the IPL has nothing whatsovever to do with cricket; it is nothing more than a circus featuring some very highly overpaid peformers, for some of whom it appears, the astronomical sums they were being paid simply weren't enough.

  • doubtingthomas on May 26, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    People like Shukla and Srinivasan have no sporting lineage in their blood. Their sole purpose of hanging around Cricket or any other sport for that matter is the amount of money to be made, and lack of laws in the sphere to check excess. They are not in it for love of the game, benefit of the sportsmen or better quality of entertainment for the audience. They represent the vested interests of multitude of lobbies operating behind the scenes. Pandering to base instincts of the lowest common denominator, they have sabotaged the game of Cricket, in India and elsewhere. Audience and Cricketers seem to watch or play Cricket only when they have nothing better to do.

  • Narumanchi on May 26, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    A good article from Sharda but sadly as pointed out by Amit Rathi, Indian public is not sensitive to the issues of morality be it in sports or politics. How many of us would stop or stopped watching IPL? Right from day one CSK team has been given undue favours by IPL Governing council thanks to Mr Srinivasan. It is very clear to anyone with a little bit of commen sense. Still audience flock to the ground to watch the IPL(Not to watch a game of cricket but perhaps to watch a game of fixing-as to which bookie will prevail). We get what we deserve. I am sure BCCI would invite some small team like West Indies or Zimbabwe or Bangladesh for a short one day tour to India after CT(In CT I am sure India is not going to do any better). We will defeat that small team. Hail Dhoni & Co., Hail Srinivasan and Hail BCCI. Back to normal.

  • FoollyFedUp on May 26, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    This final has been robbed of all interest. Most people seem to believe that a cosy old boys club has all of this fixed. The BCCI has reduced cricket to a pitiable state. But the Indian fan seems to be screaming for more -I mean, celebrities and glamour.

  • on May 26, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    Boycott IPL,BCCI the most corrupt politicians and greedy folks damaging the cricket. No where in the world this drama of IPL will go on except India. Earlier I wrote about running of BCCI and IPL aand ESPN never printed my comments.

  • vkishore on May 26, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    Seems like this bloke Srini is more powerful than the political guys. Interesting choice of words too. Bulldozed and railroaded. Perhaps he feels that way. Clinging to their power like its their dad's property. Why dont people just shun cricket for the next 2 years? That should teach them a lesson.

  • forzaps on May 26, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    This is not an IPL thing, this is just a reflection of Indian society. You have to remember that the this is first instance of viable professional sport in India (international cricket is not exactly professional sport - that may sound bizarre but its hard to explain in this comment). And in this society, with the stakes involved (cricket is a monopoly) it would be surprising if this sort of thing didn't happen.

  • amitgarg78 on May 26, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    He may not hv done anything wrong and he may retain his integrity or objectivity but mr. Srinivasan needs to go to avoid the clear conflict of interest in the disciplinary investigation. If he stays, any outcome will be questioned. Gurunath may hv betted in his individual capacity but its impact will be on the wider game and will be massive.

  • salil247 on May 26, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    "Three players and an official from the two teams at the top of that Fair Play table are at the moment in police custody, having their sense of fair play questioned." The Fair Play Award is for the players, not for the team officials! No CSK player has been caught for fixing of any kind. Hence the clubbing of "Three players and an official from the two teams" makes no sense.

  • Nampally on May 26, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Sharda, I compliment you for this excellent article. Mr. Hawkins of ESPN also wrote a very factual and "like it is" article. Amongst the Cricketers, only Dravid spoke up - perhaps because his team players were involved. First step to combating a problem is to admit that it exists & take corrective actions to avoid it. Mr. Srinivasan must step aside from his current job because it is clearly a Conflict of Interest. Till his Son-in-Law's case is resolved, he should relinquish his post with immediate effect. Police need to enforce this decision to him. Mr. Shukla as the IPL chief also has lot of questions to answer regarding his job. It is sad situation but Indian Cricket must fight this issue tooth & Nail do all the necessary things to ensure it is eliminated & will not happen again. Let us leave this in the hands of the experts to implement the necessary measures in this regard.

  • sundoo on May 26, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    It is said that the sins of the father is visited on the son. But sins of the son in law to be visited on the Father in law?. Unfair .Without holding a candle to Srinivasan i do not understand this clamor by the media for his ouster . Criminal liability cannot be fastened on him. Morality ?. Ha Ha .Tell it to the Marines ! Who in India has ever stood on moral principals in today's World -Politicians ,Civil Servants ,Businessmen or even the 'aam Janata ' ? What about Rajiv Shukla and his 'meethi meethi' batein? What about the ACU of the BCCI and the ICC ? Why they did not file complaint with the Police when they had the list of the Bookies ? Cleaning the BCCI ? Normal garbage itself cannot be cleaned in this country ,what to talk of cleaning the system.Where does one begin to do that and survive to tell the story ?

  • sportofpain on May 25, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    Srinivasan is the head of the BCCI - a much coveted position that very few can occupy - in a time like this if he resigned what exactly would be accomplished? Would the matter end then? Wouldn't people then turn around and say he resigned because he was somehow complicit in the betting? Does someone else want him to resign so that they can then call the shots in the IPL? Will that be change for the better then?

    I am yet to see someone come up with a concrete plan to improve things. Just saying someone should resign is loose talk. Where is the plan?

    The IPL final needs to be played. The IPL itself is a fantastic tournament. After it is over, there needs to be a discussion on how to put in processes that reduce if not eliminate the chances of matches or parts thereof being fixed.

    Bookies won't go away, players will be vulnerable so some really strong systems need to be put in place. Also the great income disparities based on artificial salary caps should be done away with.

  • VenkyN on May 25, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    Hyperbole does not befit a good journalist. This article and many others are making it sound as if it is the end of the world. The fact of the matter is that betting has been going on for a while and will continue. The issue at heart is whether there was a spot fixing or match fixing conspiracy and whether players are involved. Nobody cares about venal officials or as to whether they were rich and pompous enough to indulge in some betting on their own team.

    One only has to look at the games and the effort that the players in teams like CSK put in, to see that the vast majority of players are indeed out there to compete to their fullest ability. Why should they be penalised for some peripheral goings on ?

    Personally, I don't believe betting, by itself is serious enough to even care about. It happens obn virtually every sport in the world, and in most places in the world it is legal. And it would be beyond silly to stop the game, instead of finding a way to keep it clean.

  • UnwedUnfed on May 25, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    I think most people in India (including the people betting on the games) realize that the IPL is kinda like the WWE. Much of it is tainted, but it's good entertainment none the less. So what if it is scripted? Still works as a better alternative to the saas-bahu serials on prime time TV.

  • Ramster60068 on May 25, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    I know that everyone is gunning for Srinivasan's resignation. I believe that as the leader of the BCCI, he should recuse himself from all CSK related activities and try to fix the problem on hand. A captain should not quit when things are stormy. He should take charge and try to resolve the issue and bring back credibility to the sport and BCCI. To do this he will have to communicate that this is what he wants to do. Instead he is waiting for law to take its course. He should spearhead the efforts behind the investigation and provide a joint statement to the media along with the police on the status every day. This way things will be transparent and open to public.

  • mrbaddy on May 25, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    I know that I'm bringing a different dimension to this issue, but I can't resist. I sincerely wish tendulkar talking on this issue in parliament without the diplomatic tone that he uses while talking about any controversial issues. After all he is an MP and if i remember correctly, he said that he will help cricket. Considering cricket in a very precarious state now, I would sincerely wish that he speaks on the conflict of interest issue. Otherwise, I don't know what to say than just add another person to the conflict of interest roles.

  • SidsIPLTeam on May 25, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Not sure what proves that a person is a franchise or a company under a franchise or is a franchise owner. Since, morality doesn't seem to have any association with the BCCI or IPL anymore, we have to explore these points legally to see if Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan fell in any of these categories before Mr. N. Srinivasan officially washed his hands of him. If it is found true even a few hours before the Final, then CSK should be pulled out of the match. However, due to the participation of foreign players & other commitments, there is rightly no point of delaying the Final pending enquiry. Given the time remaining it seems that the match will go on & it will be extremely unfortunate then if the charges of corruption are proven correct against Gurunath & also the fact that he was closely associated with the CSK. Resignation is not a solution & it is correct for Mr. Srinivasan to stay in power now. Just hoping he remains outside of any committee formed to handle Gurunath's case.

  • crindo77 on May 25, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    Well written Ms Ugra. And well said @Amit Rathi. Both of you have hit the respective nails bang on their heads. Whatever the IPL was or is, now it just ain't cricket. As an Indian, and a cricket lover, I am embarrassed, disgusted, hurt and angry. What CAN I do? Well, stop watching IPL and Indian cricket for now;. thats the only way I can think of, of getting back at these greedy immoral so-and-so's. Cause the language of money is the only one they understand.

  • glen1 on May 25, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    IPL is great entertainment and the show should go on. It has expanded too fast, before laws have been put in place. Anyway, in India, laws are only after the fact. Srinivasan should help clean up the system; he would be the right guy to do so as he is in the hot seat. In the West, many people became rich through dubious ways, during the early years, and now there are strong laws in place. Still, new loopholes are found and people exploit it. Welcome to the real world!

  • SpaMaster on May 25, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    "Three players and an official from the two teams at the top of that Fair Play table are at the moment in police custody, having their sense of fair play questioned." Ha ha, well-written!

  • dabbler on May 25, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    "What we needed was a statement, a signal, anything to indicate that the BCCI was seized of Gurunath's arrest and its implications. What we got was silence and opacity." And that goes for Cricinfo too. I know you have a policy of reporting only stuff that has "been disclosed" by the authorities, but the silence from your end after Gurunath's arrest was shocking. Your website has been incredibly tardy in covering this scandal. Your policy of waiting for the official version of all stories is, frankly speaking, extremely bureaucratic, conservative and irritating. We expect more from the premier website on the game -- but if you continue this kind of attitude, you're going to lose relevance in the larger scheme of things. Now please show some class and publish my comment. I've been censored out too many times before.

  • rumcork69 on May 25, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    Great article Sharda, Being the IPL is an ICC officially sanction event do they have a say? ICC going forward must have an overriding power in all the cricket boards when things are going so terribly wrong, otherwise it will ruin cricket for the fans.

  • on May 25, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    "All the IPL has done in the 24 hours since Gurunath's arrest is, issue a code of conduct warning to Dwayne Smith, and remove the "Fair Play Award" category from its webpage. The latter with good reason: Three players and an official from the two teams at the top of that Fair Play table are at the moment in police custody, having their sense of fair play questioned".this sums up the sad story of ipl.

  • QTS_ on May 25, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    While response may be unsatisfactory, it is important for the establishment not to panic and facilitate a proper investigation. Rash decisions upon panicking might unjustifiably attack someone to cause irrevocable damage to his reputation. So please, no hasty decision.

  • on May 25, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    The people running Indian Cricket know that come what may Indian public will still keep patronizing cricket. And this is where their arrogance and denial stems from.

  • radicchio on May 25, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    "This method may have worked in the 1970s but in a 24/7 information age it showed the board as out of touch with its audience and its time."

    Really? In an era where irresponsible media manipulates information feed the public with junk at a speed faster than light, anyone will absolutely need to follow the strategy of being tight lipped.

  • radicchio on May 25, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    "This method may have worked in the 1970s but in a 24/7 information age it showed the board as out of touch with its audience and its time."

    Really? In an era where irresponsible media manipulates information feed the public with junk at a speed faster than light, anyone will absolutely need to follow the strategy of being tight lipped.

  • on May 25, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    The people running Indian Cricket know that come what may Indian public will still keep patronizing cricket. And this is where their arrogance and denial stems from.

  • QTS_ on May 25, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    While response may be unsatisfactory, it is important for the establishment not to panic and facilitate a proper investigation. Rash decisions upon panicking might unjustifiably attack someone to cause irrevocable damage to his reputation. So please, no hasty decision.

  • on May 25, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    "All the IPL has done in the 24 hours since Gurunath's arrest is, issue a code of conduct warning to Dwayne Smith, and remove the "Fair Play Award" category from its webpage. The latter with good reason: Three players and an official from the two teams at the top of that Fair Play table are at the moment in police custody, having their sense of fair play questioned".this sums up the sad story of ipl.

  • rumcork69 on May 25, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    Great article Sharda, Being the IPL is an ICC officially sanction event do they have a say? ICC going forward must have an overriding power in all the cricket boards when things are going so terribly wrong, otherwise it will ruin cricket for the fans.

  • dabbler on May 25, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    "What we needed was a statement, a signal, anything to indicate that the BCCI was seized of Gurunath's arrest and its implications. What we got was silence and opacity." And that goes for Cricinfo too. I know you have a policy of reporting only stuff that has "been disclosed" by the authorities, but the silence from your end after Gurunath's arrest was shocking. Your website has been incredibly tardy in covering this scandal. Your policy of waiting for the official version of all stories is, frankly speaking, extremely bureaucratic, conservative and irritating. We expect more from the premier website on the game -- but if you continue this kind of attitude, you're going to lose relevance in the larger scheme of things. Now please show some class and publish my comment. I've been censored out too many times before.

  • SpaMaster on May 25, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    "Three players and an official from the two teams at the top of that Fair Play table are at the moment in police custody, having their sense of fair play questioned." Ha ha, well-written!

  • glen1 on May 25, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    IPL is great entertainment and the show should go on. It has expanded too fast, before laws have been put in place. Anyway, in India, laws are only after the fact. Srinivasan should help clean up the system; he would be the right guy to do so as he is in the hot seat. In the West, many people became rich through dubious ways, during the early years, and now there are strong laws in place. Still, new loopholes are found and people exploit it. Welcome to the real world!

  • crindo77 on May 25, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    Well written Ms Ugra. And well said @Amit Rathi. Both of you have hit the respective nails bang on their heads. Whatever the IPL was or is, now it just ain't cricket. As an Indian, and a cricket lover, I am embarrassed, disgusted, hurt and angry. What CAN I do? Well, stop watching IPL and Indian cricket for now;. thats the only way I can think of, of getting back at these greedy immoral so-and-so's. Cause the language of money is the only one they understand.

  • SidsIPLTeam on May 25, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Not sure what proves that a person is a franchise or a company under a franchise or is a franchise owner. Since, morality doesn't seem to have any association with the BCCI or IPL anymore, we have to explore these points legally to see if Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan fell in any of these categories before Mr. N. Srinivasan officially washed his hands of him. If it is found true even a few hours before the Final, then CSK should be pulled out of the match. However, due to the participation of foreign players & other commitments, there is rightly no point of delaying the Final pending enquiry. Given the time remaining it seems that the match will go on & it will be extremely unfortunate then if the charges of corruption are proven correct against Gurunath & also the fact that he was closely associated with the CSK. Resignation is not a solution & it is correct for Mr. Srinivasan to stay in power now. Just hoping he remains outside of any committee formed to handle Gurunath's case.