Why The Indian Premier League Was Not Fixed
Indian Premier League is a domestic cricket tournament played and organised in India. In the recent days there has been a lot of speculation about the matches being fixed for money. This is the author’s view on why he thinks that is not true.
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IPL has just come to an end. An apt end to the 2 month extravaganza I must say, a match worthy of the final. Still what I see around is a sense of dissatisfaction. I ask why? You had so many close matches, a nail biter every night, sheer talent, at times class on display, cheerleaders, bollywood, controversies (yes some strange people enjoy this too). What more can you ask for from a tournament that is just about completing 5 years? ‘Its all fixed’ is the reply, so quick it violates relativity. I find it hard to understand why. It’s a sport. Its meant to be unpredictable, sometimes predictable. It will have its ups and downs its sport! May be it’s a convenient answer to why the team you support doesn’t do well. Or maybe an act of jealousy from the ones who didn’t get a piece of the cake (this shit happens!). Anyway the only thing I’m sure are being fixed in India are marriages. Here is why.
The first thing that pops into our head when we hear fixing is money. I’m sure nobody fixes matches for pride, or to save a life or something. Its all for the cash. But when you come to come to think of it, IPL players earn like crazy! They are already playing on astronomical contracts. Add to that the money they earn from sponsorship, advertising and related things that come along with the IPL or team owners. Summed up they are making enormous money. For local players, add to the cash an opportunity to showcase their talent. Would one really risk all of this for a few extra lakhs. I don’t think so. When there is so much at stake no sane person would.
That said, do you really think one could buy out players like Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kallis, Steyn, Malinga. No way! These and more are the most respected people in cricket. They earn the respect because of their passion, dedication towards the game. You seriously cannot expect them to be sold. And they usually are the gamechangers.
Also fixing a match wouldn’t really be as simple as we make it sound. There would be a lot of technicalities involved in fixing a match. Its not like a movie or a novel, no takes or retakes. Lets say you somehow buy two players. What can you possibly do of the rest? Even if you have 5 still half a team is trying hard to win, wouldn’t work that way. I mean for a batsman to get out caught and not make it look like it wasn’t deliberate is a huge ask. That would require some extreme level of skill, not humanly possible.
Also I hear people coming to this conclusion stating that almost all matches are so close. Now that’s ridiculous! Whatever the resources it would be impossible to fix a close match. If matches were fixed they would probably be dull one sided encounters with the other side throwing away the game like anything. Not thrilling low scoring games or nail biting high scoring ones. That requires talent, not cash. Only a fool would say that a match was fixed because he saw Ab De Villiers score 47 off 17, or Dwayne Smith’s 14 off the last 3 balls, or Gayle’s 128. That is sheer talent & skill at display. What I’m saying is claiming that IPL5 was fixed because it had the maximum number of close matches is crazy. In fact that would be a reason to be sure of this IPL not being fixed.
While that was my take on fixing, I think we need to stop being such cynics. I mean yes we have had videos of spot fixing and all and that sure needs to be dealt with. But that was at a much lower tournament not IPL. And just I said there is a lot at stake to do that in IPL. Also its sport. Shit happens. Doesn’t always mean its fixed, that’s the nature of the game.
P.S. : Neither me nor this article is fixed. I’m sure you must have come to that conclusion by now!