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May 22, 2013 at 07:01pm IST

Filled stadia are no validation of IPL's credibility: Gaurav Kalra

Do full stadiums indicate the spot fixing scandal hasn't impacted the IPL's popularity? CNN-IBN's sports editor Gaurav Kalra joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Do you think BCCI will allow the truth of spot fixing come out..I suspect it will do cover up it had done for Azher..truth will never come out. Asked by: Guru

Filled stadia are no validation of IPL's credibility: Gaurav Kalra

Do full stadiums indicate the spot fixing scandal hasn't impacted the IPL's popularity?

A. The investigations are being handled by the police...and the anger/rage one senses from cricket fans means there will be pressure to clean up things...while your cynicism is justified given all that has happened in the past, I am more hopeful this time...media is also more robust and will keep the pressure on.

Q. Real cricketers will never doubt abilities of Dhoni, Gayle, ABD, Dravid, Watson, Tendulkar, Rohit, Steyn, Shewag (though his career is over), Raina, Pollard, Sammy, Bravo, and IPL is watched just for this star players, unfortunately youngsters like Ankeet, Chandila. As long as great players were in IPL, stadium will be full. Is my thought right? Asked by: Jebaraj

A. I wonder sometimes what a full stadium indicates? does it mean people are endorsing the sport no matter what- or that people are there to enjoy the occasion though they realise things aren't quite right...my sense is just filling a stadium up is not a validation of credibility as the BCCI is claiming.

Q. Do you think that time has come to create stricter laws for fixing? Asked by: Jiva

A. Yes...we have to look at cheating in sport and define it as a crime...legal experts should be asked to work towards defining this clearly...so that law enforcement agencies can go after players who indulge in such activities...I believe the sports ministry and law ministry are working on a draft

Q. IPL will die in next few years if BCCI continues to function in money making way..diff countries will stop sending their players into this league in the danger of them being corrupt..2 or 3 more yrs then IPL will be history..what you say? Asked by: Guru

A. I definitely think this is a much bigger crisis that any other the IPL has faced in its history...and what you mention is a real danger...afterall, players are the assets of a board...so if they believe those assets are being compromised, they might take such a step...but given the IPL's attraction, if they act strongly here and show their intent, there may be hope yet.

Q. Fixed or not fixed, people just love sport isn't it? Even the WWE has a lot of fan following knowing well that the entire thing is enacted. Could this be one of the reasons why the stadiums are full. Asked by: Narayan

A. There is certainly some truth to what you are saying...an IPL game is 'fun'...so perhaps fans are more forgiving in a sense...they just go in and have a good time...but i think a sport's integrity is very important...and we should be conscious of it...I detest cricket being compared to WWE but in the current environment, its an expected reaction.

Q. Full stadiums will not represent foreign fans who would have gone away from IPL post controversy. Asked by: Rakka

A. I agree...the cricket fan needs to be convinced that he is watching a true contest...if he is suspicious constantly, the game has no reason to exist..it can not exist only to 'entertain'..it must be real in every sense of the word.

Q. The whole hungama which has been going on for the past few days is not new to indian cricket. The spot fixing allegations have always been on? Do you think this is gonna dent the popularity of the sport? Asked by: gokulakannan

A. It may not be new but it is deeply troubling...if a test cricketer and a double world cup winner is found to be compromised, it adds a serious dimension to the problem...with all the education they have, if top cricketers are found to be indulging in such activities it dents the sport itself- it popularity falling is a by product.

Q. The fact that BCCI is ther to earn money and not to bother about cricket is bringing all these bad things out..root cause is handling of BCCI. Asked by: Manas

A. I think the BCCI has historically done some great work for the game...age group tournaments, the stadia, taking care of cricketers, even their commercial success are all big achievements...however a sport can not exist for one reason alone- to be commercially successful...there does seem to be an increased focus on profit generation in the BCCI above all else.

Q. Comparison of TRPs between yesterday's match and NEWS channels should give a better picture about what people are more interested in watching, IPL or NEWS, right? Asked by: Satish50

A. The issue is more important than simply what people want to see- even if the IPL is still seen widely doesn't mean all is well despite these revelations...it is important to recognise that a sport has to maintain its integrity.

Q. In my eyes IPL has lost its credibility...What is your opinion? Also do you feel just 3 players and that too from 1 team would have done this...I feel stadiums are packed because there is no other sport as popular as Cricket in India. Your Thoughts? Asked by: Mohit

A. I am in agreement on the credibility issue...afterall a tournament depends on its players for how its seen...if players are seen to be letting the game down in this manner, it impacts how fans see the game...as for stadiums being full, that is an accident of the indian nation at times!

Q. What is punishment of betting in India? Asked by: Anuj

A. The police are pursuing a case of cheating at the moment on the players...betting is illegal as we know though i can not confirm the exact extent of that punishment to you.

Q. The BCCI hasn't been transparent in any of it's dealing. Infact most of their decisions aren't really on the right side of legality. Isn't it time the BCCI should be taken to task. Though we should give credit to BCCI for popularizing the sport and giving cricketers decent salaries. Asked by: Rajesh

A. Yes they deserve the credit for making the sport as viable and successful as it is in India...however, i do believe in the last few years especially the BCCI has become too opaque...there has to be greater transparency not just on such issues, but also on matters of selection etc.

Q. If you keep tainted players in the playing 11, people may still come to see how that player looks and plays and what signals he'll pass. Even if they dislike something, their curiosity gets the better of them. Isn't it? Asked by: CJ

A. There has been a tendency in India to 'move on'..several players who were implicated in previous match fixing scandals have won legitimacy back in various ways...becoming MPs, TV analysts and what not..as a cricket watching and loving people we have forgiven too easily as Harsha Bhogle said recently.

Q. Full stadiums does not mean that the audience are viewing the match with same enthusiasm..may be they had brought the ticket before hand so they are coming..what your say? Asked by: Rohit

A. Well that could be true..afterall, its only human that if you have spent money on something like buying a ticket you will want a return on that investment!

Q. You know whats the problem. Indians from the beginning are being involved in marks, percentage, rank in schools, year gaps in career etc. etc. their general conscious and general ability to think reality disappears. That's why they have short memory for corruption, inhumanity etc. and this is more and more increasing coz of rise of middle class. Asked by: pc aka @jpchat9

A. Its a larger philosophical point that you are making...and i do see where you are coming from...however I am more inclined to think that we need to be less enamoured by the star attraction of individuals and treat them for their merits...respect not blind adulation will be better.

Q. IPL is a playground for all the overseas players but not a single Indian is found playing in the overseas leagues except a Murali Kartik. Why is it so. Is it because BCCI not allowing them and if so does it not violate the players right to ply their trade. Also by allowing overseas players BCCI has given them so much exposure to Indian conditions that over a period of time this will not be alien to them whereas Indians will be handicapped by not getting used to the bouncy tracks in AUS / SA. With 2015 WC in AUS should not our players get exposed to AUS conditions by playing in the big bash. What's your view. Asked by: natraj60

A. I agree that the BCCI's decision to keep indian players from being part of other T20 leagues is a restraint of trade..several indian players have had to turn down offers...board officials have told me in the past that they are protecting the players as some of these leagues are seen as 'dodgy'...that may be the case but as we have seen individual acts are what they are no matter which tournament they are in...as for conditions, that is not such a big deal to me...there is enough exposure as indian players anyway.

Q. I feel, a full stadiums means a 'full house' for a hit movie (like the Salman's one). This is the reason why we see full stadiums just few minutes to the start of the match and absolutely empty stadiums minutes after the match is over. People are perceiving it as a 4 hour 'staged' entertainment- an alternative to a movie. No emotions, no relations attached. Otherwise, people would have stayed in the stadiums to feel that atmosphere, vibe and connectiveness to the match and players. Oh no! Forget about it. These 'caretakers' of the sport have destroyed it long back! Asked by: Rohith Basavarajappa

A. Its sad yet true what you are saying...while its fair to expect to be 'entertained' when you go to a cricket match, but its also important to trust the contest...we are in an environment where the trust has vanished and all we can focus on is having fun...there has to be a difference between watching a movie and watching a cricket match...both are fun, but one is real...the other isn't.

Q. This spot fixing is getting deeper and deeper..now franchise them self are involved in betting..so you think the time had come to scrap IPL? Asked by: Ranjan

A. I argued on the day the scandal broke that the IPL needed to take a temporary break...it was incredible to me that on the same day that the arrests were made a match was going on as planned..you can find my article on this website.

Q. Perhaps people have realized that these things(spot fixing,betting ,match fixing)are part and parcel of cricket now and since people of sub-continent are cricket crazy nations (with no other major sports for entertainment)they have accepted the sport with black spot.your opinion please?(BTW, I always like the way you present your shows, good hosting): Asked by: pallavi s

A. Thanks for that- it may be so, but i do believe its important for the fan to trust the purity of the sport they are watching...if it isn't right, we might as well pack up...we can accept a lot in our daily lives, but contrived cricket matches is not among them.

Q. With a lot of political might behind BCCI , (this includes all parties) do you think if we should even expect a fair and thorough probe? Also what could be the implications of Gurunath Meyyapan being accused of betting? Asked by: gokulakannan

A. On Mr Meyappan, there has been nothing official form the police..so currently we are awaiting some clarity on what exactly is being alleged...as far as the political might is considered, while that is true I think the disgust in the public domain will add pressure.

Q. What will happen if big personalities are dragged in the spot fixing scandal? Asked by: balaji vasudevan

A. One certainly hopes that doesn't happen...but if there is muck, as a cricket follower you can only hope it is all cleared up- whoever they might be.

Q. Hi Gaurav, the demand for banning IPL seems to be naive. A main reason for spot fixing seems to be the links between the players and the bookies, whom the players usually meet at the after match parties. Should this kind of lifestyle be not regulated and controlled by the team owners and BCCI? Asked by: Aditya

A. I think lifestyle is an individual choice as are one ethics...we may all come across people who are dodgy in our daily lives and may be offered the opportunity to benefit from a criminal act...if we accept, no good blaming someone else.

Q. I believe the whole IPL is fixed like WWE. Everyone will have that doubt since N. Srinivasan is CSK owner and they get into play off every time. Do you think Sreesanth should alone be punished? Either everyone should be punished or everyone should be let off. Why should Sree be alone held responsible? Asked by: Adi

A. While the rest of what you say is something you 'believe', there appears to be prima facie evidence against Sreesanth...the police wouldn't have acted otherwise..now he will have to undergo the legal process.

Q. I don't think full stadium does indicate something. As tickets were done well in advance. But I am sure brand IPL and nexus of politicians like Shukla's and Srinivasan got hit. What is your take? Asked by: Amy

A. The credibility of the board and as direct consequence of its officials is definitely under the scanner...afterall its on their watch that the tournament has faced this crisis...as a leadership group, they are accountable.

Q. Spot fixing is an individual act of aberration stemming from Greed. It has nothing to do with greet, When a batsmen hits a ball out of fence, we enjoy the moment of hitting a boundary, whether it was fixed or loosened comes after postmortem. Asked by: S ESHWAR

A. While that may be true, it is important for fans to go into a game believing none of it will be pre-decided...a sport isn't a movie..while it is enjoyable, it is also unscripted..its a critical differentiation.

Q. Scam and Scandal not new in Cricket. Why is Lalit Modi in hiding in UK.? will there be more to reveal? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. How can I answer for Mr Modi?

Q. Alcohol, Cigarette,horse race betting is allowed in India,Lottery in many states, even though all these are no Good for the citizens. Why betting in sports which is permissible in many countries is not being allowed? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. It has been one of the talking points as an aside since this scandal broke...but betting being legalised won't do away with corruption...after all fixing a game or a spot can still be done in the illegal market.

Q. The IPL commissioner's image will take a hit? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. That is a minor issue really...he is an official, it is the league that matters and indian cricket ofcourse.

Q. Jagmohan Dalmia is still around in CAB? How will he be responding to the crisis if he had been around in BCCI? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Tough to say how a person would have responded..he was an able administrator, would have responded adequately.

Q. The spot fixing scandal unraveling like a TV serial is entertaining as the Game does. The Viewer interest is to see the Climax. Why was the conflict of interest of BCCI boss being the IPL franchise owner not taken seriously? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. The conflict of interest issue has been brought up and reported repeatedly.

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