Indian Premier League and Cricket Nirvana

Be it our newspapers, television, radio, any other media or even our own lives, all are over obsessed with cricket. Excess of anything is bad, and at times, even venomous .The same is true for cricket in India. The phenomenal popularity of the gentleman’s game in India has led to murky deals and illegal money pumping into it. The recent IPL controversy shows exactly that.

The Indian Premier League valued at an astronomical Rs 18,000 crore has turned into a perfect pitch for money squandering. Allegations of widespread betting and even match fixing have marred cricket. An estimate says, on an average, a whopping Rs 750 crore were put on betting for each match! The wrongdoings involved in the Indian Premier League marks a muddy chapter of money laundering, betting, irregularities in financial deals in the shorter version of cricket.

After a history of failed ventures in his professional life, the suspended IPL commissioner has made so much of wealth for himself within three years of IPL that he now owns a fleet of luxurious cars, a yacht, a private jet and property worth crores!  Money in sport is welcome, but the corruption it brings with itself is atrocious. There have been large-scale tax evasions in the IPL. It is indeed a shame that in a country like ours where millions live in utter poverty, the money which should be used to feed hungry stomachs of the poor, is spent on the Armani’s and Lamborghini’s of the likes of the Modis and the Mallyas. The IT probe on IPL is underway and is expected to open a can of worms.

While the BCCI (Board for Control of Cricket in India), officially coming under the category of ‘a charitable organisation’ is one world’s richest sports bodies, the regulatory authorities for other sports in India exist just for namesake. The government should ensure that the enormous wealth of the BCCI is adequately taxed and utilised for the development and promotion of other sports. A Country’s standing in the Olympic medal’s tally is also denotative of the Nation’s global influence. Take any powerful nation like USA, Germany, China,etc, you will find them sitting high on the Olympics medal tally. Even countries which are no more than a dot the globe, like the Bahamas or Kenya, fair better than India in the Olympics. As an Olympic commentator sarcastically commented on the Indian contingent in the Olympics, “the country of a billion, but only a few are here” ,it is shameful for us that we are not able to produce world-class athletes. The saddest part is that we are not low on talent, we are yet to discover our potential and tap it. The lax sports authorities add to the woes of Indian sports. If we are weaving the dreams to become a superpower, we need to assert ourselves in the epitome of the global sports arena, as well.

Perhaps, all the glitz and glamour has turned us a blind-eye towards the real problems our nation faces. It is high time that we wake up, and do our bit. We the youth of India, are India’s future and it is our duty to give to our motherland its glorious days back. I hope, we will!

Tabish Azeem