Indian cricket stands on thin ice after a traumatic Monday when the committee probing the IPL betting and fixing scandal indicted Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan, for his involvement in betting on IPL matches. But ground may come off from beneath Indian cricket on March 7, when the Supreme Court may open a sealed envelope that contains the name of six India internationals involved in the scandal.
Not too long ago, Srinivasan had shielded Meiyappan by calling him a "cricket enthusiast", but the father-in-law on Monday refused to comment on the findings of the probe report submitted by Justice Mudgal, who headed the panel appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the source of foul odor emanating from the IPL.
Perhaps it's right when Lalit Modi says "Srinivsan will go to any length to save himself". That's what his silence suggested on Monday, but if those six names are made public by the SC, the chain may go straight up the ladder of BCCI leadership.
What makes the situation even more grave is that two of those six names are reportedly touring New Zealand right now and one played the World Cup India won in 2011, and if that's true, Indian cricket is in neck-deep muck.
"It's [IPL] the titanic of Indian cricket that has hit an iceberg," said an expert on a TV debate. "Rats run out first when a ship sinks," said another. Indeed, revelations of these names will shake the very foundation of cricket in India.
The Justic Mudgal report mentions about a journalist involved with a sports magazine for recording of tapes. "The journalist refused to disclose the names of the Indian players involved. In spite of repeated requests to put the name of the said player in a sealed cover for perusal before the Supreme Court, the journalist appeared terrified and was very reluctant to do so and pleaded that it would be dangerous for the journalist concerned," the report said.
"It thus appears that names of six prominent Indian capped players are available in tapes in connection with dealings with bookies while two of these prominent Indian capped players have also been named by none other than a former President of BCCI," the report added.
The report also talks about tapped conversation between Chandresh Jain and Ashwani Aggarwal, who allegedly are bookies. The transcript of that conversation has "references to high-level fixing of players where the names of two international Indian players were mentioned."
Genuine cricket fans will hope that those names do come out and are not swept under the carpet - for that's the only hope to see future players becoming cricketers and not actors on the field.