IPL frenzy not as high as it was a decade ago.
By Yohanjali R
April 10, 2019.
On the evening of April 18, 2008, Indian cricket witnessed a revolution. Several teams came together to play against each other in the Indian Premiere League. But 11 years later, some youngsters are disenchanted.
“With all the spot-fixing and cheating, who will have interest in IPL anymore? There is no justification for it. It is simply wrong. One must remain true to their passion and not become money-minded. A few bowlers have been caught spot fixing. Who knows there might be more who didn’t get caught,” said Ashwini Gopal, who was a fan of IPL until 2013.
Ranjan Das, a cricket fan, said: “It’s not just spot fixing; even betting is an issue. The owners of the team who are supposed to respect their players’ hard work were caught betting. It’s a shame that everything now, even sports, has become a business.”
In 2013, bowlers Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested for spot fixing. Later, actor Vindu Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings principal Gurunath Meiyappan were arrested for betting and having connections with several ‘bookies’. Raj Kundra, a co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, was also accused of betting in the same year.
In 2010, IPL founder Lalit Modi was suspended from BCCI for financial misconduct. In 2013, he was banned from cricket forever. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned from IPL for two years following financial misconduct by team officials.
Ashok Lal, 19, who trains at a private cricket academy, said: “I joined the academy because I was inspired by IPL to become a cricketer. But then I realized how corrupt the sport and the league have become now days. Sometimes, I regret my decision to join cricket because of that. I think eventually, money matters to people. It’s sad to see that cricketers have to suffer because of their corrupt owners or bosses.”
Sanjay Verman, a student waiting to buy tickets at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, said: “The sport has been politicized. A few years ago, certain players were not allowed to enter certain cricket grounds in India because they belonged to a certain ethnicity or nationality. All players must be seen as players regardless of their origin.”
In 2013, the Jayalalithaa government in Tamil Nadu did not allow 13 Sri Lankan players to participate in matches to be played at Chennai’s Chepauk stadium. In 2009, Pakistani players were not allowed to participate in IPL due to the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
“I lost interest in IPL ever since Chennai Super Kings was banned from the tournament. After witnessing that the players who are innocent were being punished for the owners’ fault, I lost my confidence not just in IPL but also in cricket itself,” shared Subashini Rao, who studies at a private university.
Gopala Krishnan, a marketing employee, said: “I used to attend lots of matches at the Chinnaswamy Stadium when IPL was new. But nowadays it’s too hot to attend the matches in the stadium. Plus I was in college at that time and was free. Now I have a job and a family. I lost interest in the sport as I’m very busy with my own life and don’t have time for IPL.”
An official in the security department at Chinnaswamy stadium disagreed with the youngsters. “It is wrong to blame the entire sports for a few wrongdoers. Not all players are into spot-fixing, and not all officials bet. I believe that people will continue to love IPL, no matter what happens. Besides, corruption and politics exist in every aspect of society. Cricket is no exception.”