Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
TIt is no secret that we Indians love our cricket. In an age where innovations are the norm rather than the exception, it is therefore no surprise that this very popular game also saw some innovations in the form of the T20 version of the game. As opposed to test cricket and the one day international forms of the game, T20 was an immediate hit as the limited 20 overs in which matches were played compelled the players to take huge risks, slugging for boundaries in an attempt to post big scores. With the advent of the Indian Premier League, this version of the game also saw a lot of changes to the ‘gentleman’s game’ through the introduction of cheerleaders and involvement of Bollywood stars and business tycoons in the administrative side of the teams. Proving to be very lucrative, the IPL then became synonymous with lavish after game parties, big pay cheques for the players and big dividends for the team owners. Oh, how the money was flowing in. Well, as the saying goes – ‘Money is the root of all evil’ and it wasn’t long after that the scandals and controversies started pouring in. Everyone is aware of the Lalit Modi case and I don’t think I need to say any more on that particular subject. This version of the game, at one point of time had even caused a Union Minister to lose face, such is its influence and reach. In this backdrop of scandals and controversy, another major conspiracy has recently surfaced by way of the exposure of large scale match fixing practices involving three Rajasthan Royals players. This exposure has sent shockwaves through India’s sporting community and has hit the nation hard.
With the amount of money that has been pumped into cricket in India, it is not surprising that other sports are suffering. One has only to look at hockey to see a clear example of this. In one of our earlier issues, we had once interviewed Sandeep Singh, the highly acclaimed Indian hockey player. During this interview, when asked as to why Indian hockey was in such a sorry state at present, Singh had categorically blamed the pumping in of money into cricket for the decline of Indian hockey.
The media, I feel is also to blame and all that one has to do is go through the sports section of any publication for me to prove my point. On doing so, I can assure you that what you will witness is a domination of cricket related news in these sports pages will very little space provided for other sporting disciplines.
It is because of this that our cover story this month is on the IPL and the recent match fixing controversy. Looking at all the scandals and controversy that have ensued ever since the advent of the IPL, it is my strong opinion that the sports policy of the country has to be reassessed so that equal opportunity is provided to the other sporting disciplines. India has no dearth of sporting talent, what it lacks is the commitment and support of the government to promote this talent and take it to the levels of greatness which are just, a little effort away.