Undoubtedly, one of the most arguable topics since IPL came on the floors. Firstly, it was the One Day International (read chaddi cricket), then it was the T20 format and finally evolved out of sheer want of entertainment, the game of impropriety called the Indian Premier League. It was right from the time of delivery of the first ball of the IPL in the batting-friendly Chinnaswami stadium, that cricket pundits had started questioning the genuineness and authenticity of the game. Gallons of questions came galore. There were several occasions, rather evidences of calumny regarding the quality of the spirit of the sport being destroyed continuously, especially; keeping in mind the diddling that triumphed over the newspapers the last year.
The Indian Premier League was administered into the Indian Cricket with the optimism of making the Indian Cricket much more robust and entertaining than ever before. The decrepitating interests in the longer formats led to the evolution of T20 cricket, domestication of which churned out the notion of IPL. Cricket turned out to be more like a girl’s outfit: less the clothing, more the entertainment. But not to forget, the main idea behind the curtain-rise of IPL is to escalate the fervour of the cricket-lovers and to allure them to the world of cricket. Initially though, it pretty well succeeded in doing so. But unfortunately, IPL-4 didn’t match the strides of its predecessors. Soon enough, it lost its much coveted TRP; public interests seemed to thin away, even the DLF sponsorship rolled its sleeves. The then IPL Commissioner, Lalit Modi was held guilty and was convicted of committing acts of misconduct and indiscipline and was therefore, banned from the next IPL seasons. In return, Modi denied all the allegations and blamed the BCCI Administration for libel. It was all over when until a few months back, a few cricketers, namely S. Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan, Amit Singh, Siddharth Trivedi and Harmeet Singh along with their owners were interrogated and were found guilty of match-fixing scandal. A handful of bookies were also arrested and questioned. Whether or not, ‘the Azharuddin era was recuperating’ was the recurrent question of all cricket lovers. Even the BCCI President, N. Srinivasan was brought under the watch-glass of suspicion. The role of Rajiv Shukla, the successor of Modi as the IPL chairman, was also scrutinised thoroughly, following which, he resigned. Vindoo Dara Singh, Gurunath Meiyappan and a lot others were caught to be involved in the heinous scam of IPL. The purpose with which IPL was launched simply took a U-turn and acted as a boomerang against the cricket-lovers. Message of corruption and even political influence started breezing in the fresh air of cricket. A fresh start was the need of the hour and to ensure that, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was assigned the duty as the IPL chairman. Furthermore, the Honourable Supreme Court of India has given the verdict of appointing Retired Justice Mukul Mugdal as the prime person to probe into the allegations of match-fixing and betting for the sixth version of the IPL franchise. Even the ex-Indian captain, Saurav Ganguly was specially flown down to New Delhi to attend the proceedings as the full committee met for the first time on June 19th of the current year, with the other members being the Additional Solicitor General L Nageswara Rao, senior Advocate Niloy Datta and senior IPS Officer BB Mishra.
After all these scandals, all we can hope is all about the optimism that our Indian Cricket once used to showcase, particularly in the era of Saurav ganguly as the captain. We fervently wish that the era of Azharuddin should never repeat itself and at the same time, Cricket as a sport should develop along with its proper spirit. With the new Government promising higher and clearer goals, it can only be hoped that the chastity of cricket be well maintained and usher in optimism about what we need the most at this hour, a pure IPL, better to say, Indian Purity League.