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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2612

India: Cricket or Politics? Entertainment or Deception?

Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

In relations with Muslims, India plays double-standards, in relations with neighbors Pakistan and Bangladesh it says one thing but does totally the opposite; with regard to Kashmir it follows a clear ambiguity confusing the Kashmiris about the time and nature of re-independence they would gain.

Even with regard to Indians on domestic front, India does not show that the government would be a reliable organization to serve the people. It is strange, Indian government does not behave like being committed to common people or meant for people’s welfare, but it has been there only to serve the interests of big-business houses that indirectly brought a set of leaders to power. The truth is rulers don’t think people have brought them to power and they have reached the position with money and muscle power and with help of transnational and multinational sections operating in the country. The minority Manmohan government, supported by the Leftists from “outside”, like the previous BJP–led NDA, promotes the interests of the capitalist forces in and outside the country.

Globalization and liberalization have brought in a new class of entrepreneurs that want quick and high profits. For several years now, democratic India has let the few to acquire public sector assets, built-up for decades with people’s hard labor and contributions, at a throw away prices, and in many cases not fully paid. Now the emerging capitalist bosses just want to squeeze commoners the ways they think fit, while government watch the repulsing reality like a TV comedy show. For instance, India encourages big companies like Reliance mobiles that are engaged in looting the public with media hypes and lies and the booty is obviously being shared by many leading political parties mainly the ruling ones. This vicious circle operates every where in the country including in sports where big and quick money plays the crucial and cruel role. The outcome of international cricket matches is usually dictated by the mafia and government agencies, collectively or separately.

Business : Match-Fixing by Whom?

In view of the fact that cricket, and even other sports, is by and large has become, like weapon sales through agents, a lucrative business, between and among the countries that play, involving government level agencies. These agencies and mafia decide the outcome of the matches, i.e. match-fixing remains the key feature of cricket where records like centuries, wickets and even man of match are pre-determined for a price or favor. That means the so-called records set by the sportsmen are indeed suspicious, as many batsmen have also complained that they are not even allowed to get one single run. At times even players refuse to budge, but then they would be doing it at a terrible cost. And when a team fails to fulfill the dictates of the agencies or mafia there would be quarrel between the teams on some other vague issues without naming the real issue.

India has clearly made cricket a lucrative business material and much of the matches are decided beforehand, accordingly. The supposedly topmost cricket teams like Australia, South Africa and West Indies play willingly to lose to India on some vague understanding according to instructions received form “above”. Both Australia and South Africa have recently exposed themselves by allowing centuries and double ones to Indian team and losing quick wickets on “understanding”. They have no objections to do so provided it does not spoil their international ratings in test and one-dayers. Indian media just cannot tolerate a win by any cricket team other than Indian in the world; the comments and photos being published in newspapers betray the democratic the real content-cum-intent of Indian media.

Good Or Bad?

The scenario makes one repulsive and sick of watching or writing on cricket as a sport and the general feeling is that cricket, invented and promoted by the colonial powers, cannot but be a game meant to play fraud and mischief with the public. However occasional occurrences in sports like cricket when a sportsperson does make a significant contribution one does risk in writing a few lines , fully unaware of the actual truth about even that performance. A similar situation occurred on 19 April as part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament happening in Indian stadiums, where many sportsmen from abroad are also participating. Twenty20 is not rated as standard cricket but now cricket mafia is encouraging that type of cricket too.

Husseys

On 19 April, in the Indian Premier League match in Mohali, Mike Hussey cracked the fastest century in Twenty20 cricket history as Chennai Super Kings pulled off a comfortable 33-run victory over Kings XI Punjab. It was exciting to watch Hussey's blistering unbeaten 116 off just 54 balls steered Chennai Super Kings to an imposing 240 for five on a perfect batting strip at the PCA stadium. The Chennai team then restricted the Punjab team to 207 for four to record a win in their opening match which turned out to be a high scoring contest under lights.

It was a virtual carnage at the PCA ground as Hussey plundered runs at will to notch up the second century in the tournament in as many days after Brendon McCullum's 158 in the opening match in Bangalore the previous night. Brendon McCullum's awe-inspiring 73-ball 158 was remarkable. McCullum scored 100 from 53 balls during his blazing innings for Kolkata Knight Riders against Bangalore Royal Challengers in the opening match of the IPL. The highlight of the innings was the explosive stroke-play by Hussey, who hit as many as 10 sixes and seven boundaries to record an amazing strike rate of 211.11.The likes of Brett Lee, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan and James Hopes could do nothing to stop the run deluge. Electing to bat, the Chennai team took full advantage of a batting track and short boundaries with sixes and fours raining on a hapless Yuvraj Singh-led home team.

However, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the highest paid player in the landmark auction, could manage just two runs before being trapped leg before by Hopes. But his team-mates made amends for his cheap dismissal with some lusty hitting which helped the team put on a mammoth total. Faced with a stiff asking rate, Kings XI got off to a decent start with Goel and Hopes putting on 56 runs in the first five overs. Muralitharan's experience came handy as he used a lot of variations and gave away just 33 runs in his quota of four overs. Kumara Sangakkara (54), Karan Goel (24) and captain Yuvraj Singh (23) were the other batsmen who chipped in with some runs for Kings XI Punjab.

Again on 21 April, in Eden garden David Hussey played a crucial unbeaten knock of 38 to help Kolkata Knight Riders secure a five-wicket win over The Aussie turned the game the Knight Riders way with his savage attack on Scott Styris in the 18th over, as he plundered a six and a boundary to bring his side close to victory. Hussey brought up the winning runs with a straight field six off Pragyan Ojha, after a 31-minute stoppage caused by a power failure.

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi, who has since 1997 held on to the record for the fastest one-day hundred from just 37 balls, Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Afridi said he would be aiming to better Brendon McCullum's awe-inspiring 73-ball 158. "It is a very difficult target to achieve to better his 158 at a faster rate. But it is not impossible. Certainly I will give it a try," Afridi told reporters after the Twenty20 international against Bangladesh at the National Stadium in Karachi. But when he made his debut for Hyderabad Deccan Chargers led by Indian batsman VVS Laxman in the Indian Premier League on 22 April in Hyderabad against the Delhi Dare Devils, he fared too bad. Possibly, the bowlers were keen to outsmart his legitimate ambitions—or, has he played as per the instructions from “above”?

At one point it appeared that bating has overtaken the bowling, but it is really not so. Now it looks the cricketers invited from other countries to jion the various Indian sub-teams, would be under usual pressure to be grateful to the host India and help showcase its favorite color code or state-team as final victor.

The writing on the wall reveals the current trend of bating over taking bowling spree in cricket. But the question remains if what one watches in stadiums, reads and sees in media is indeed real! Who knows if the color-code/state of the team that should win the finals and the cricketer to be name the man of match have already been decided by the cricket mafia in the country even before the matches began! Better cricket is played as a game of gentlemen without deceptive methods and hidden agendas, whatsoever.

- Asian Tribune -

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