India, Money, Cricket & Media

Warning: If you are so naive that you believe everything shown on the TV, close this post.

India, a country mad at cricket like no other in the world. I don’t know how it happens, but it just happens that it kills every other sport in the country. The three time consecutive world cup winners, Australia, manages to beat India in Hockey, Cycling, Swimming, and heck, every other sport as far as I know. Don’t take my word, search and find out for yourself. And yet India’s sports is in poor shape because of Cricket. The logic in the statements contradict each other, I know, but it is how it is.

Football clubs have been India for a long time, hockey olympic golds have been won, yet they get nothing more than side columns in the sports section. Why? Because there isn’t any money in it. Sponsors say the game isn’t popular and players say they don’t have sponsors. Merry go round it is. Converse is true for popularity and money in cricket.

So it has come to this – Indian Premier League – the amalgamation of Cricket and Money in India. There can’t be a better joke about IPL than the justification of grooming Indian talent. “Helping grow Indian cricket, is the purpose of existence for IPL” I have been told by many. The Football clubs of Europe are quoted as parallels, with their history running in opposite directions, I would add. The football clubs grew and became wealthy, whereas the wealthy gave birth to these cricket clubs and made sure they grew.

Somehow recent melodrama in the IPL scene about spot fixing, booking, betting and other blah blah of money play has got the media talk about a number of things. The tone of media has remained as if the very epitome of cricket has been destroyed. Is this the first time foul money has been found in connection with IPL (remember Lalit Modi, private jets, etc)? Wait, so far players has been clean, some say, which translates to cricket was clean and it was the management that was dirty. Well, I don’t buy this story. This is so naive and idealistic that it is SO hard to believe.

What is more likely is, players so far have been paid to do their duty, bluntly put, fodder for the race horses. And the horses have been within the control of the reins, when they start jumping posts, they have to be brought under control. You can call this a conspiracy theory, if you want to. You might want to ask then why are managers and owners coming under the scanner? It is because the “buck doesn’t stop there”. Somehow the ones who “actually” run the IPL for their benefit has figured out things have gone beyond their control and have decided to do what is best for themselves. Media makes sure the story reaches the way those in control want it to be.

I actually feel pity for those writers who have to write those posts. I will offer one advice. Don’t try very hard, we have believed for long WWF was true and Undertaker had, what, like 7 lives?