In India, politics is played better than cricket. When it comes to cricket and BCCI, politicians join hands and work together in this country. In the matters (of the country) which are not related to cricket, politicians of different parties never agree on one thing. But when it comes to cricket, politicians forget all the differences and start working together. BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world and it fills the pockets of all the politicians who are part of it. Thus, it is foolishness to fight when one is part of BCCI.
IPL is BCCI’s product. Everyone is aware of the amount of money involved in IPL. So obviously, officials and politicians are going to work together in the cash-rich league.
Since the inception of IPL, we have witnessed the game of politics along with the game of cricket.
The first sign of existence of politics in IPL
In 2008, when son of a famous politician was spotted in the Delhi Daredevils camp, it denoted that political power dominates the talent in this country. He was in Delhi Daredevils’ squad from IPL 2008 to 2012. His entry into the IPL cricket was heavily influenced by his political backdrop. However, he didn’t play even a single match but he got direct entry in Delhi Daredevils squad in 2008. He hadn’t played even a single match in BCCI’s domestic tournaments before getting the entry in Delhi Daredevils side. In fact, he made his first-class debut in 2009 and List A debut in 2010. These were first signs of existence of politics in IPL.
In 2009, IPL moved out of India because of politics. As mentioned in the earlier chapters, there were general elections in the country and the home ministry denied the provision of security to the league.
Suspension of Lalit Modi
Suspension of Lalit Modi revealed a lot. His suspension was proof why politicians are involved in IPL. If Lalit Modi can do money laundering then others won’t be just sitting and watching him do that. Lalit Modi after his suspension revealed things which were beyond imagination. He revealed Dhoni’s appointment letter as vice president of India cements. With the suspension of Lalit Modi, the corruption which politicians are doing in BCCI came out. If one of the reports is to be believed then officials never wanted to reveal the profits because they never wanted to make BCCI taxable. How authentic is that report? Only the presenter of that report can say that.
N Srinivasan is a very powerful man. He is a managing director of India cements. The power of N. Srinivasan is such that he had been elected as president of BCCI as well as the chairman of ICC. In 2004 when supreme court ordered him to quit BCCI over the charges of corruption and involvement in betting scams, it doesn’t affect his power at all. Even after all those charges, he was re-elected unopposed as the president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). A lot of people came to know about the ownership of Chennai Super Kings at the time of betting scam. It was not even the imagination of the people that Chennai Super Kings is owned by the son in law of BCCI secretary.
These controversies and scams around N. Srinivasan gave the perception to fans that every single match in IPL is fixed. Even Sreesanth told in one of his interviews (after getting the clean chit from fixing scam) that one Police officer told him that matches are fixed by the officials since 1998 and that’s why he has stopped watching cricket. Seeing the corruption of these politically powerful people, supreme court appointed Mudgal committee to clean the corruption from BCCI. As a result, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years. There is one more revelation about N. Srinivasan.
One of the former national selectors revealed that. In 2011, it was decided to take the test captaincy away from Dhoni considering the poor performance of team India on the foreign tours but N. Srinivasan stopped them from doing so. It once again proves that politics dominate cricket in this country and IPL is just a small part of it.
Politics in the Indian team
Politics in IPL reached to team India and it still exists. When Dhoni was the captain of India. He slowly and gradually kicked all the senior players out of the team and brought players of Chennai Super Kings in the Indian side. And he was able to do that because he had backing of the president of BCCI. Respectable senior players became the victim of politics. Some of them even expressed it at the time of retirement but again, politicians dominate the game in this country.
The tradition which Dhoni started, Kohli is following that tradition. He is also giving no respect to the seniors. Because of him, one of the greatest players India have ever produced, Anil Kumble resigned as a coach of team India. The current coach of team India is of his choice, not the one which COA (the committee which selects the coach of India) wanted as a coach of India. Apart from that, players of Royal Challengers Bangalore have taken place over well-established players in the Indian side.
There is no replacement for experience. The players who have been kicked out or dropped have won the world cup for the team and still, there is a lot of cricket left in them. So it is morally not correct to ignore such players. Indian team is winning the matches without them but these political games are killing the enjoyment of the game.
Politics is spoiling the mood as well as the flavour of Indian cricket. The main cause of such politics in this country is the oversupply of talent. Here politicians play very smartly, they play around a player who gives them an emotional story and tries to connect with people’s emotions with that story. Politicians use the reputation of players to plan and play their dirty games. And these dirty political games to fill the pockets are spreading the wrong message among the fans. It is giving the perception of fixed tournament to the fans. If it is fixed then declare it like WWE. If it is not then the way should be found to keep the dirty political games away from the tournament. These dirty political games or politics as a whole is killing the enjoyment and the game is loosing the fans.