Monday, 27 May 2013

Cricket In India-Tracing the breadcrumbs of history!!

It was a sport of morality and was a sport, built on the talent and passion of was played everywhere, from the foothills of Himalayas, to the swamps of Gujarat. The game developed it's own identity as India paced forth in the global stage. When cricket was being played with fancy bats and jute balls in the meadows of Britain, Indians were sweating it out in the hot sun. Cricket in India developed over the country's subjugation under the British. As India awoke from the ashes of a break-free from the British, the game underwent rapid changes leading to the era of CK Naidu and Lindji. Then a long stride resulted in Kapil's Devils raising the prestigious World Cup in 1983, after a triumphant victory against West Indies. From then, India didn't look back. From Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Anil Kumble & co, India has produced the best cricketers in the world. But this free-flowing game of India was to crash into a road-block that nobody expected.

It all started when the cricketers were given opportunities in advertisements. As a result, the corporate sector found a very firm wicket in the form of cricketers to bat on. In the end cricket itself was clean bowled by this very corporate sector. The world now, is based on greed and money than trust and morals. As a result, influential and wealthy people found cricket, quite near to horse racing. The true monetary potential of the game was exposed much later when the so-called 'limited-over' games were introduced. Now a days, there are not even local games where hoardings and sideboards are absent. The BCCI and to some extent, the ICC, is now just a mask to a corporate-cricket link, that has ballooned over the years. Now-a-days, noticing the colour of a team's jersey is impossible, as it is covered with small ads and campaigns.

The already existing bruises were deepened as the 20-20 format came into existence. The idea of a cricket match being shuffled into a few hours, attracted the public of India.....which, as time exposed was quite similar to giving the corporates a juicy full toss. As India won the first 20-20 World Cup, the name of a so-called messiah who would save Indian cricket from it's downfall rang through the ears of all Indians. MS DHONI. The proclaimed explosive lower order batsmen with a sturdy pair of hands and long pleated hair, attracted the gullible youth for as long as today. Just when a string of questions were being raised against his credibility as the captain, India won the World Cup, for the second time. And what more could Dhoni have wanted? An easy length delivery slapped for a six....from his bat finished the game. The ferocious flame-thrower Lasith Malinga failed to bowl even a single Yorker as the Srilankans played like a couple of clueless boys in their backyard. Things appear much more clearer after the revelations of the past week.

The mud became more gooey and mucky as the infamous IPL occupied the limelight, with a grand opening ceremony. The amount of money involved in IPL is in the dark even today, most of the teams being owned by the Bollywood darlings. As the first season went on as a test run....the private companies were dumbstruck by the viewership statistics....which were through the roof. Thus, in the second season, there was more money being poured into the IPL bucket, via film owners and people unknown till then. While the darkest of the herd stayed aloof, they sent in scape -goats for a test run. As the scape goats came back alive, the major players placed their money in the right places, and got away with it till now. With each season probably more corrupt than the other, Pespsi could not resist the popularity of the set-up and decided to adopt the sporting banner of India. Little did they know about the late-night surprise they were scheduled to receive.

Three and most likely more players have been indulging in spot/match fixing for monetary benefits....despite the slave trade auction system that provides them sufficient money. As the experienced and popular stayed cautious....players like Sreesanth who have been out of the national side for as long as 2 years, couldn't resist the pay-pack or at times the honey traps. As more and more evidence is being unearthed......the guilty finger seems to be pointing at the BCCI and it's chief, whose son-in-law is behind bars for match fixing. Yet, Mr Srinivasan is clinging on to his throne...despite a huge storm, trying to blow him away. But the fact of the day is that- in between all this errand-running for personal gains and favours....what is being destroyed is Indian of the only remaining relics of India's cultural and historic taste for sports. What is being destroyed is the only secular religion of India....were people 'bleed-blue' for India. In a country where cricketers are treated as gods...this is indeed a backstab which has gone through the backbone of Indian cricket!!!

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