Cricket fans should bat for change

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Ray, May 26, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Cricket fans should bat for change

    Boria Majumdar

    Seven weeks of competition will finally decide a winner later today at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Frankly, it just doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Currently, it is all about the cataclysmic events that have shaken the foundations of Indian cricket. The ordinary cricket fan, cheated and hoodwinked, hardly cares about who wins the IPL. Indian cricket is in crisis and this is a catastrophe like no other. Today the muck has reached the very top and doubts and suspicions go deeper than ever.

    Take today’s final, for example. We are told that Vindu Dara Singh has revealed names of a few CSK players who are under the scanner. If these claims are true it might well be that some of them will be playing today at Eden Gardens. And if that’s the case, will fans who make their way to the ground be watching pre-scripted drama or will they watch a genuine cricket match? The legitimacy of the competition itself is in doubt and that means India’s only global sports brand has been sullied and damaged. I’d go a step further and suggest that it will take years to restore fans’ trust and till such time cricket’s position as India’s only secular religion stands compromised.


    One simple fact is enough to illustrate the point. After winning their play-off against the Rajasthan Royals, the Mumbai Indians players did not bother to celebrate. Some of the players speaking to me on condition of anonymity suggested that they were more interested in following breaking news on TV. Gurunath Meiyappan’s arrest had pushed their victory to the background and they were far more interested in knowing if the final was even going to take place.

    Unfortunately for Indian cricket the ambience has been reduced to one of gloom and mistrust. It is one where the very essence of the sport has been jolted. Cricket, because of the many criminal actors, some of whom are now in jail, has been reduced to a charade. More because the game’s top boss has placed ego above issues of propriety and morality and is in a mode of complete denial. The president has conveniently blamed it all on the media when the root of evil is in his own home.

    The more we think that we have been consuming a prescripted charade in the name of cricket, the more determined we become to stay away from this once great game. More importantly, we have started to ask if we can ever again watch an IPL match without having a sneaking suspicion that all is not well?

    Limitless greed leading to roguish behaviour is the only explanation behind the present crisis. Sreesanth, a double World Cup medal winner, is better off than 99 per cent Indians. He had a plum contract with the Rajasthan Royals, earned enough money from domestic and international cricket and also had a few endorsements to his name. Gurunath is one step ahead. He is one of the richest sports patrons around. Our naiveté will lead us to ask how much more money do they need? Why do they need to do this? Frankly, we are missing the point altogether. Greed has no limit and demented minds get a certain thrill out of successfully orchestrating a criminal conspiracy.

    In this entire saga, which is both sordid and sinister, the institution that stands to lose the most is the BCCI. Several of its members speaking off the record suggest that the “President has become an embarrassment for the board”. However, when it comes to taking a public stand none of them have shown the willingness to step up for a cause. The tall claims about governing a gentleman’s game has turned subservient to safeguarding petty self-interest and maintaining a cushy status-quo. Suffice it to say that cricket is the ultimate loser as a result.

    Is there a way forward or is it time to write an epitaph for Indian cricket? Is there hope that the game will emerge cleaner out of this crisis and can we treat this as an opportunity to rid cricket of the evil that has corroded the foundations of our singular passion? As an eternal optimist I’d tend to suggest the later. So what if the BCCI has become inept. So what if our administrators have let us down. Ultimately, cricket belongs to us, the ordinary cricket fan, arguably the game’s most neglected constituency. It is this cricket fan who is tired of being taken for granted and it is this cricket fan who will lead the clamour for change. It is time to take up cudgels for the sport we love and act as civil society should at a time of crisis. Sixty-five thousand strong at Eden Gardens booing the BCCI president when he steps up to present the IPL trophy won’t be a bad start tonight.

    Cricket fans should bat for change by 175 Years : Team TOI's blog-The Times Of India

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    Now, people will not go to watch the cricketing aspect of cricket, but the name of the game will be trying to spot the spot fixers and their antics, and on that there will be betting as to who could correctly spot the fixers! :rofl:

    Indeed, it is no longer cricket!

    How can cricket be cleansed?
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Legalize betting, make cricket cleaner and whiter

    By Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar,

    The cricket spot fixing scam in the India Premier League (IPL) has become a media sensation. Bollywood actors, cricketing stars, bookies, highly connected gamblers, underworld dons and even a Pakistani umpire have added masala to an already spicy scandal. Outraged analysts are demanding a crackdown on all betting, the jailing of not just the fixers but of all VIP gamblers, and even the banning of the IPL.

    This is ridiculous. If individual judges are corrupt, do you ban the judiciary? No? Then why ban the IPL because a few cricketers were corrupt? If you ban the IPL, the very same bookies and cricketers will shift to one-day cricket and Test cricket. Will you ban those too? If you do so, bookies will shift to other sports, and to elections. Will you ban elections too?

    The real lesson from the spot fixing scandal is that, by making cricket betting illegal, we have driven it underground and allowed underworld characters to dominate betting outcomes. The answer is to make betting legal and well regulated.

    The government allows, regulates and gains enormous revenues from speculative bets on the stock market. It should follow the same logic for cricket, elections and many other forms of betting. Betting on horses is legal, but not on cricket. How irrational can you get?

    Legalising and regulating cricket bets cannot eliminate all fixing, but can definitely check it, since bookies and betting will come into open view. This will create thousands of legal jobs, generate enormous tax revenue, bring huge sums of black money into the legal arena, and deprive the underworld of a lucrative monopoly, eroding its malign influence on society.

    Indian courts distinguish between games of chance (which are prohibited) and games involving skill (like poker or rummy) that are allowed. Picking winners in horse races is also regarded as requiring some skill, and so is legal. But picking winners in elections or cricket — which definitely requires some skill — is currently illegal. Silly!

    Gambling in most societies is viewed as immoral, and often banned. But the experience of liquor prohibition should be a warning to us all. In the USA, prohibition was enacted in 1932 with massive support from churches, temperance societies and women's organizations. This aimed for the high moral ground. Alas, it generated massive bootlegging, huge black profits, and gangster wars led by the likes of Al Capone. So, US prohibition was soon rescinded.

    In India too, many states tried imposing prohibition, found this impossible to implement, and so gave up. Liquor sales are now legal in almost all states, but regulated. This generates enormous revenues for governments, thousands of legal jobs for workers in the industry, and satisfaction for millions of consumers from what others regard as illicit pleasures

    Gambling is another such pleasure, and needs to be dealt with accordingly. True, liquor has some very undesirable side effects. Gambling too can in some cases lead to addiction and ruination. But driving such activity underground creates far more problems than it solves.

    Betting on sports is entirely legal in many countries. Britain has thousands of betting shops on street corners. Bookmakers in Britain are not shady underworld characters but highly respectable companies, the three biggest being William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral. They contribute around five million pounds per year to fund research and education on tackling addiction to gambling and other issues, and a special levy for the same can be mandated in India too.

    Nobody knows exactly how big illegal betting is in India. The police estimate that betting on just the IPL — which lasts only six weeks — is Rs 20,000 crore. Betting on all sports and elections is perhaps 10 times higher.

    If such betting is legalized, and subject to a tax of say 20 per cent, it will generate anything up to Rs 40,000 crore per year in tax revenue. Over and above this will be income tax paid by the bookmakers, all workers in the gambling industry, and by lucky winners. Gargantuan sums of black money will turn white. The rule of Dawood and other gangsters will be replaced by legitimate business. Most, though not all, fixing will be checked.

    Madam Sonia, it is impossible to imagine any other single measure that can do so much good and eliminate so much harm. Please make the legalization of betting an immediate priority. It may not win you the coming election, has so many positive features that it can only help. Instead of chasing bookies and VIP gamblers, focus immediately on legalizing them. At a time when the police lack the manpower to check even rape and murder, diverting scarce police resources to chasing bookies and gamblers is almost a crime itself.

    Legalize betting, make cricket cleaner and whiter - The Economic Times

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    It appears that the writer has never gone to watch horse races.

    There is massive fixing in the races even though betting is leagalised!
     
  4. Simple_Guy

    Simple_Guy Regular Member

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    Betting is legal in England and Europe but cheating and fixing takes place in so many sports. Recently it happened in the one of the football leagues in Europe.
     

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