It’s common knowledge in cricketing circles that world cricket is, unfortunately, controlled by the Asian nations, in particular India and Pakistan. It’s also common knowledge that the two most controversial and historically corrupt cricketing nations are in fact India and Pakistan. Decades of hatred between the two countries, decades of violence from their over-passionate and over-expectant fans, decades of match-fixing scandals and of course, decades of greed, favouritism and corruption from the crooked administrators. If cricket spirals down hill in the future, there’ll be no doubt as to who’s to blame.
The latest saga to hit the continually dysfunctional Indian cricket is the expulsion of two franchises from the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world’s most watched annual cricket tournament. The Rajasthan Royals, inaugural champions in 2008 and the Kings XI Punjab, twice semi-finalists, have had their contracts terminated due to a variety of reasons, in particular relating to charges of transgression of shareholding and ownership norms that apparently threatened to, “shake the very foundation of the tender process.”
What a load of garbage. In a league where the average match fee of each player is second only to that of the NBA, surely disputes of this nature can be worked out through a series of negotiations. There is simply too much at stake.
Firstly, spare a thought for the players, many of which are currently still contracted to the franchises. What shall become of them? Will they be awarded their payments, as expected? Consideration must be given to their families and livelihood which are dependent on this income… This is after all their job! Of the more famous players at Rajasthan, stars of the game such as Shane Watson, Graeme Smith, Shane Warne and Shaun Tait will no longer have a team to play for, whilst stars at Punjab such as Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Yuvraj Singh and Brett Lee will also be out of work.
Secondly, spare a thought for the millions of fans of each franchise all around the world. Personally, after admiring Shane Warne’s captaincy skills in the 2008 series, I began supporting the Royals, I have even purchased a Rajasthan Royals shirt. Who are these fans going to support now? What about the regional areas of Punjab and Rajasthan who generated so much income from these teams?
Of course, the IPL administration give their reasons for these decisions, but like every controversial decision that comes out of Asian cricketing nations, it reeks of a cover up. The fundamental reason that this has occurred is because there are two new franchises entering the IPL for the 2011 season, the Pune Warriors and Kochi, and the IPL are aware that an eight team competition works best. This is nothing more than an attempt to capture new fans and freshen up the tournament. Unfortunately, the fallout from this will end up in the courtrooms, like every other decision in Indian and Pakistani cricket and this is sure to upset the millions of Rajasthan and Punjab fans. There’ll be protests, boycotts and rioting in the streets of India, with burning effigies of Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, being televised to viewers all around the world.
Indian cricket has once again acted irrationally and as always, are proving to the world that they have no conscious and are fuelled by greed. They simply have no understanding of the consequences of their actions and the bad exposure they receive.
This decision is a farce and the ICC need to step in and take action.