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Thursday, May 23, 2013

IPL Spot Fixing Scandal: Now The Umbilical…Sorry…The Umpiring Connection!



Whenever India does anything importantly right or wrong the Pakistan connection has to come up sooner or later. People of both countries like it or not. The Karachi based Don Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company connection to the Indian Cricket betting racket was already established in the raging IPL Spot Fixing Scandal that grows sleazier every minute now. The unholy mix of cricketers, bookies, middlemen, BCCI and IPL franchisee officials, Bollywood stars and dons now proudly includes that of umpires too. So far the umpires have not been blamed for anything seriously harming the game except for some wrong or lousy decisions on the field. But now, Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf gets implicated thanks to arrested Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh spilling the beans.

Asad Rauf has been on the elite umpiring panel of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 2006 and was getting ready for duty in the forthcoming Championship Trophy in June. Although not exactly an umpiring blemishe, Rauf has had a scandalous controversy involving a Mumbai model in 2012. He came under the scanner of Mumbai Police after Vindoo revealed his connection to the bookies in terms of providing crucial match information from the field. This is one of the biggest blows this IPL scandal has delivered so far to cricket in India and now to Pakistan cricket lovers too.

The ICC, following the developments, promptly withdrew Asad Rauf from the elite panel thus canceling his engagements in the Champions Trophy. The ICC feels that this decision has been taken in best interests of Rauf as well as of sports.

Meanwhile, a Mumbai Police team today landed in Chennai on the trail of Gurunath Meiyappn, the son-in-law of the BCCI Chief cum CSK owner N Srinivasan and CEO of CSK franchise, following leads from Vindoo Dara Singh. Unbelievable as it seems, the police team struggled to get entry into Gurunath’s residence. Finally, he could not be traced and there was no response from him or from the BCCI Chief. Exasperated, Mumbai Police served a summons to him to appear by 5pm tomorrow for questioning. As par latest reports Gurunath has requested Mumbai Police to allow him to appear on Monday.

Now, what happens to the inquiry committee appointed by the BCCI to look into the matter of spot fixing? Would the committee be so powerful as to dare question its Chief? Silence prevails on all powerful fronts—the BCCI President is silent, the topmost cricketers are silent and all the political leaders irrespective of their parties are silent. This silence is that of big money, clout and vested interests. BCCI silent for reasons known to all, top cricketers silent for the stakes and political parties always sink their differences when it come to a common ground like big-money cricket. Therefore, in this respect how far the police investigations are going to be effective? Let us keep on hoping that Big Money is finally defeated and cricket cleaned forever. Three bookies were arrested in Mumbai today and several in Kolkata and other places making the total arrests  so far more than fifty.
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