An indian TV channel, India TV has conducted a sting operation in which some Indian players participating in the IPL are shown involved in illegal actions. One of the players is shown bowling a deliberate no-ball and a telephone recording of the player asking for money to ball the preplanned no-ball. Another recording, a video clip this time, shows other players involved in illegal financial transactions with other league franchises.
This is the gist of the whole story. Of course the way the news is presented in the media is quite different from the way the previous spot fixing scandal news was broke.
This news has not made as big a headline as that of Muhammad Amir, Salman Butt and Asif. It does not even display at the top most spot of many newspapers and news websites and the articles have adopted a cautious approach rather than straight away saying “Indian Players found Involved in Spot Fixing”. Most articles do not display crooked looking pictures of the players, some don’t even mention their names.
I am in no way defending the case of Amir, Salman and Asif. What they did was wrong and not acceptable at any level or form. But the point is that they were presumed guilty right from day one even before the trial. There was so much pressure on the PCB to suspend them even before the PCB could investigate the matter. Of course, the BCCI has the privilege to say that it would investigate the matter and does not have the ICC breathing down its throat to suspend the players even before something is proven. The media also has a soft corner this time around. You see words like – alleged, – it (India TV) said – if there is any truth in it – etc
The BCCI has said it would investigate the whole matter. Here is what the BCCI chief had to say: “We will have to see the tapes. If there is any truth in it, we will act, even if it means suspending the player immediately. But this has to (be) based on some evidence and fact. We will act to show this is not tolerated. IPL, we believe is clean. But if there is a shred of evidence, we will take the strictest possible action.”
“We will ensure that the integrity of the game is protected. BCCI believes in the integrity of the game. We will take the strictest possible action. We will have to have the tapes and the moment we see it, whoever is the player, we will take very strict action.”
“IPL, we believe is clean. We have got the Anti-Corruption Unit covering it. They are the in-charge of the security. We have got Ravi Swami, who was heading BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit to take it up for us.”
“People can make allegations. But if there is any shred of evidence, we will take action.
Nicely said. And appropriate too. I wish Ijaz Butt could have had someone tell him to make a similar statement. What the BCCI has done is that they have bought themselves some time to investigate the case properly without letting the scandal put a dent on the IPL’s reputation. Whatever the truth is, would come out and whatever punishments are appropriate would surely be handed over to these players but things would stay under control until something gets proven otherwise no harm is done. Unlike in the case of Pakistan, the players were presumed guilty right from day one, the Pakistani Board and the whole Pakistan team were projected as cheaters and bad guys (not in words maybe but this was the overall image that was formed in an average news reader’s mind). Even the Pakistani media was like – cheaters and match fixers!
The simple rule was that guilty unless proven innocent. But today it’s innocent unless proven guilty. You look at the Pakistani newspapers and the headline says BCCI vows to take strict action against IPL spot fixing claims. This immediately gives an image of positive attitude. But if it had involved Pakistani players then even our media would have placed the news at the top most spot and it would have read like – ‘Pakistanis involved in spot fixing’ or ‘Pakistanis bring spot fixing to the IPL’.
All I ask is a fair treatment at all levels for all whether Pakistani or Indian or English. Some readers might not agree with the point of view I have put forward in the article. I respect their opinion. This was my opinion which I thought of sharing with all my friends.
Oops, there is just one more thing. The BCCI had on Saturday announced its plans to set up its own anti-corruption unit which today the BCCI chief has said would be looking into this particular spot fixing scandal. A move that looks so positive on the part of the BCCI but at the same time it also gives the BCCI the leverage to handle the matter in a controlled fashion rather than having the ICC ordering it to make certain decision. Some readers might remember when Shane Warne tested positive for banned drugs during the worldcup, Cricket Australia took a quick notice and handed over a rather short punishment which might have been more stricter had the ICC taken action, plus it would also have dented the whole team’s reputation.
Whatever happens, we hope that at the end of the day, cricket comes out victorious.