The Justice Mudgal IPL Probe Committee Report should be made a part of our school curriculum. I say this in all seriousness because our children take to cricket early; they not only go out and play cricket with their friends but also come back home and watch it on television along with the family. Cricket courses through our collective veins; it pounds inside our hearts. It is, therefore, logical that our youngsters learn the finer nuances about the game they want to play when they grow up. Any lingering doubts that the fair name of the game has been besmirched by the IPL have been laid to rest by the fact that the IPL players who went under the hammer for the next season fetched handsome prices in the auction and by the fact that the Mudgal committee has given a ringing endorsement that the IPL is “good format” and has urged that “there is need to protect it” (p 81; volume 1). As opposed to recommending to the Supreme Court that the format should be suspended till all allegations are cleared up, especially since a former BCCI president (Shashank Manohar) himself has declared “all IPL matches should be investigated”.
The following points are, therefore, worth extolling to our children so they have a sharper sense of the greatness of this format:
IPL is a revenue earner. Delhi Police estimates that in a single IPL match the total bets would be around `150 crore. The turnover is substantially higher: thousands of crores of profit for Dawood Ibrahim and other known terrorists. It may be noted that the report does not provide clear indication that the money so generated is ploughed back specifically towards terrorist activities aimed at India. In fact, it will be prima facie obvious that since the number of IPL matches have continued unabated with no discernible or proportionate increase in terrorist activities such as bomb blasts, the money is used for peaceful purposes such as making the boys in the IPL teams richer and, in the process, more focused on interestingly managed match outcomes. The report notes that “all the accused persons in both cases are presently out on bail and possibly back in the business in the coming IPL season”.
It will be clear to our children that joining the police force and becoming IPS officers may not be the right career choice. This is immediately obvious from the fact that the committee points out repeatedly that what the police have managed to unearth is only the “tip of the iceberg”. The Delhi Police had interesting leads on many players and none were followed up with any zest. The Mumbai Police have practically ignored Dawood’s pervasive presence. This will prove to our children that even if they were to join the police, they will be able to do zilch to their childhood friends who become cricketers and make pots of money.
Our children will see how cricketers are actively sought after and provided gifts by jewellers and businessmen (p 52) and Sreesanth’s revelation that three Indian players “were also involved with bookies and getting flats and gifts from them” (p 61). Beats having to pay exorbitant EMIs for pokey little flats in the boondocks, like normal IPL-watching Indians.
Of course, if our children are encouraged to become “cricket enthusiasts” with the right acquired connections like Gurunath Meiyappan, they don’t even have to show up to depose before such committees.