Last year, the controversy that cracked within FIFA did rampage its Red Tape. It was the largest and also the gravest of its kind that grew at the backyards of a prestigious sports authority like the FIFA. In comparison to cricket, football has a larger fan base and hence, it is endowed with more responsibility. ICC, in contrast is not stained with corruption at such level, but the IPL blowout last year was a heavy blow to the global cricket community.
Scandals like match fixing, corruption and illegal betting besmirch any sports sector. It losses the fundamental aspect of the game, the unbiased enthuse of sportsmanship. The fans of Mohammad Amir in Lord's Stadium in the 2010 event were deceived by the player the moment he acted under the clout of external forces from beyond the ground. Performing under the influence of prohibited drugs on the play is betrayal of fellow players, but tainting the game through deliberate under performance is a Judas kiss to spectators, the game lovers and most importantly to fans, who look at the players as their icon.
Corruption in cricket originates with illegal betting, where the outcomes of matches are predetermined by betting groups. These groups target specific players who are strategically important to the team and negotiate on his extent of performance. Most of the times, more than one player is involved in such match fixing instances. This allows to bend the outcome of the game according to whims of betting houses.
The Anti-corruption Unit of ICC keeps a close vigilance on the underbelly of cricket. The three objectives of investigation, education and prevention pursued by the dedicated wing is successful to do away with corruption. However, corruption in country level cricket such as IPL in India that rocked the community happened under the nose of authority like BCCI. The scrapping of two teams from IPL and total transformation of its internal lineup have proven the strict intolerance against corruption.
The verdict that came directly from the highest authority of law and order in the country, the Supreme Court was a stringent attempt to curb corruption in cricket. Following the mandates, the latest stir was created by Lodha Panel’s recommendation, which the BCCI has objected vehemently. The stance by BCCI against the report is natural when the board itself is convoluted with corruption charges. The proposal to legalize betting in the country is certainly a smart step towards reformation of cricket.
It is not practical for cricketers to undergo ethics lessons. The only pragmatic way out of scams is to check the loopholes in the system and the administration. There should be a corporate approach to implementation of guidelines and regulations rather than handling over the authority to some slick old politician. Moreover, only cricketers are supposed to know about the nuts and bolts of cricket administration, there is no concrete logic of why politicians and industrialists should be given priority in a cricket board.
Games such as cricket with immense popularity must be under strict vigilance. Popularity is proportional to the amount of funds flowing into any game and this, in return, makes it a lucrative enterprise for cash rich parties. It must be ensured that administrative strength is optimal to oppose malicious elements within the system.
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