No fairytale is ever a fairytale without the presence of some dark matter in it. That is what makes the protagonists of the story special as he continues to battle everything that’s unethical. Despite all the entertainment that the IPL has given over the years, none of us can disregard the other side of the coin which has been in focus for the last five to six years.
From match-fixing allegations to teams getting banned for their alleged involvement in bettings, this tournament has made cricket a great money-making source for the BCCI, but sometimes in the wrong way. Are the authorities striving hard for a change? Well, that’s a question that remains rhetorically answered but the implications of it are yet to be palpable.
Here are five dark secrets from the IPL, which have continued to tarnish the tournament’s reputation big time.
5. Cheerleader confessions
This side of the IPL has been in news for several seasons and in the last couple of seasons, we have heard lesser stories. Having said that, the foreign cheerleaders, who come in from different countries like the United States, Russia, Australia and other nations from Europe, have found it difficult to perform in front of the Indian audience.
Some cheerleaders also accused the IPL governing council to be racist, as almost everyone selected for this job are white women. They have raised concerns about how men in the stands look at them, objectifying what they wear and what they do. They also have to adjust prolifically with their accommodation, as the team managements have not provided them a proper place to stay.
In 2011, cheerleader Gabriella Pasqualotto raised her concerns over the flirtatious parties that are organized by her employer, Mumbai Indians. She had spoken out against all the parties that were going on through her blog and reportedly, a lot of players had privacy concerns with this blog. A change did come in this regard as the communication between players and cheerleaders was completely scrapped from then on.
4. After-party fiascos
The After-party culture is a well-followed ritual in the IPL and it all makes sense going by how the tournament tries to bring in different people from different ethnic beliefs and cultures. But not all of these parties over the years turned out to be pretty memorable.
There were instances in the past when certain players of the same team had huge spats after consuming alcohol and also attended rave parties without the permissions of the team management. While there are many reports written on it, there has never been an official word.
The IPL management has done a fairly good job thus far to keep this part of the game as secretive as possible and all we know are certain rumours. But one thing is certain, it is not always just happy dancing happening out there.
3. Commercialization vs development of local talents
The Indian Premier League was said to bring in more chances to Indian uncapped cricketers to play alongside great foreign talents, but as it turned out, team managements have been more keep on picking sides that can win the tournament rather than giving more opportunities to youngsters who have been warming on the bench for years.
Ricky Bhui, one of the fine talents from Andhra, has played less than five matches in the last four seasons he spent with Sunrisers Hyderabad and almost similar is the case with former U19 World Cup winner Baba Aparajith. They do take the paychecks home, but the number of young talents not even getting a game every year is concerning.
It has become pivotal for these sides to not end up on the losing side and experimenting with young talents has become risky. This is definitely not helping them and the whole purpose of the tournament, but we do keep seeing an odd name coming out and taking the limelight.
2. Fixing demons of the past
The incident which happened in 2013 has kept haunting the tournament’s image and its scars are still pretty visible. S Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila were banned from playing international or domestic cricket after their alleged involvement in match-fixing, which saw the whole nation mourn the degradation of the sport.
Plenty of other games that went down to the final overs have been questioned and pointed out regularly, as the doubts do come creeping in over the legality of the games. A lot of fans who have been watching the game for decades have already stopped watching the tournament and despite no other fixing incident coming up in the news, later on, the allegations never left.
Is the tournament far from fixing? That is one question not many people guarantee, even the experts but one thing is certain that the number of players working their socks off to earn their paychecks is way higher than the ones who are trying to tarnish the game’s image.
1. Humongous flow of cash via betting
We can still debate with the fixing aspect, but there’s no question whatsoever when it comes to betting. This has been a major problem for the tournament, perhaps bigger than the fixing demons. Two teams (Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals) were slapped with a two-year ban for their owners’ alleged involvement in betting.
India has always been against Sports betting and despite many economists suggesting to legalize betting, we have not walked down that path. From small scale levels ranging money between 100s and 1000s to the involvement of lakhs and crores of rupees has been concerning for the authorities.
Every season we see so many cases of gangs getting caught in pubs, bars and other public places splashing the cash on this, but still, we have not found a way to curb it. We are not very aware of the changes legalized betting can bring in, but that seems like the only remedy that makes sense.
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