Put the skates on!

The spot fixing case needs to move at a fair clip to bring back the credibility factor in Indian cricket
IT’S been exactly one year since the spot fixing and betting scandal broke out in Indian Premier League-6. And the developments, without doubt, caught the Indian cricketing establishment off-guard. They were rather caught napping, oblivious to the fact that speculation doing the rounds for a few days, hinted at some players and team owners engaging in rather nefarious activities during the competition.
The scandal broke the hearts of all cricket lovers, many of whom took to social media like Facebook and Twitter to vent their anger against the accused players and officials. They wanted nothing short of exemplary punishment to be meted out to them.
The media too followed the story relentlessly, exerting tremendous pressure on the concerned authorities to fast track the investigations. However, in the process some reputations too have taken a beating with little to suggest that they were guilty of any wrongdoing. I empathise with those who are innocents for the unnecessary stress they have been put through.
The apex court’s decision to appoint Sunil Gavaskar as the chief of the Board for IPL-7 too needs to be hailed, and his impeccable reputation has ensured that the entire focus has remained on the game. Gavaskar has lived up to the expectations by conducting the tournament without any off-field controversies, despite the first half of the tournament being held in the Middle East which is considered to be a den of match fixing.

What is disturbing though is the pace at which the case is now moving, be it the incompetence of some officers handling the case, or the lawyers appointed by the concerned parties who spend a great deal of effort stalling proceedings.

Because of this, there is a danger that the real issue at hand will be forgotten and the case will be quietly dead and buried. It is precisely this loophole in our criminal-justice system that encourages a wide array of cricketers to try their luck and make hay until they find themselves in the dock. Sadly, there are some innocent players who get caught up in these controversies and their reputations are needlessly harmed.

Nevertheless, many like me, who love the game passionately, are still hopeful that the game will be cleaned up sooner than later. The onus of this rests squarely with BCCI officials, current and former cricketers, IPL team owners, investigating agencies and the judiciary.