It's difficult to evoke a response until you are hurt. There were no cracks on BCCI president N. Srinivasan's forehead and none on the players involved, neither was there a stammer in the speech of parliamentarian cum IPL chief Rajiv Shukla. Their faces didn't exhibit remorse or at least a raised brow. These guys are not hurt, and until they are actually hurt, a concrete response will never come forth. Because these are the snakes who sit on top of a treasure island that was once Indian cricket.
It's okay to demand a probe by an independent body, to treat this revelation as just the tip of the iceberg, to break the agent-player nexus, to probe black money transactions. But the scariest aspect of this latest 'fixing' episode is that there is no deterrent for the players. If a Mohammad Amir can't be a precedent, what else can be? If the fear of a jail sentence is not putting these players off, what else can?
Cricket turns into a fetal, defensive posture when it sees what TP Sudhindra 'learned' from the Amir episode. Ranji Trophy's top wicket-taker last season, Sudhindra picked up how to bowl a deliberate no-ball, when he should've learned why not to bowl it. This is like the cold-blooded murder of cricket – the very game that made you who you are. It's also the cold-blooded murder of your parents' self-respect, forcing them to bow their heads in shame when they should have toured the town with pride.
If Amir can't be a precedent, what else can? If the fear of a jail sentence is not putting these players off, what else can?
But from whom are we expecting an action? From the BCCI, who can go to any extent to hide their own dirty intentions, or from these stone-hearted players, who lack dignity and regret for their misdeeds? Don't expect actions from any of these quarters. Instead, you, the fans, need to firm up your No's. Slap your denial on the BCCI's face, leaving no way for the board other than to stop behaving like an impostor and become transparent. Stop supporting the board's sham businesses like the IPL. Say NO, loud and clear.
And then there is also a small section of the Indian society that feels happy when the BCCI twists the arms of other ICC members. They need to ask themselves: what international gains have the BCCI or India as a team made if they can't keep their own home clean? What has the BCCI given to the game? The IPL, which is becoming a ground for corrupt practices and business prospects under the cloak of providing fringe players grand opportunities?
A probe is the first step towards sweeping away this dirt. But then everything comes to naught if it is done by a board that doesn't come under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI). The fans will again be left as mere spectators, forced to believe what is shown to them.
This menace needs a root-deep shovel, which in turn requires establishment of an independent judicial panel to bring the perpetrators to justice. Having said that, chances are that this sting will also be pushed under the carpet by the BCCI. But how long the fans will forget and forgive? The game is bigger than an individual but it comes under serious threat when the fans start feeling betrayed. Cricket is running, not walking, towards that situation.