Time To Class The IPL As Sports Entertainment

Today’s revelations about 3 Indian cricketers being arrested over spot-fixing claims did not come as any surprise to Yates.  Equally the identity of one of the arrested cricketers (the one who played Test Cricket) did not surprise Yates, as he had always thought poorly of that particular person.  The usual denials and claims of conspiracy have come out, but the one thing that must be noted clearly is this:

These arrests have come as a result of work by the Delhi police, NOT by any cricketing Anti Corruption Unit. That sounds familiar…

That is a big deal, telling us that yet again the cricketing establishment hasn’t got a Scooby when it comes to dealing with fixing.  There’s been the usual garbage coming from the usual suspects *cough* Harsha *cough* trying to play this down but surely only the most stupid will think this isn’t an issue to worry about.

The Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil (Revised Standard Version), but this isn’t limited to India.  Just to shut the “you’re just anti-India” mob up before they get started, English politicians have been troughing for years, as Guido Fawkes reveals something else that a few people wouldn’t like given publicity.  That said, Yates’ views on the BCCI remain fixed until clearly proven wrong.  Which they won’t be.

Today’s events have convinced Yates that just as the World Series Cricket figures are not allowed to be part of cricket’s statistics (wrongly in Yates’ view), the same fate must befall the IPL.  It is time that the IPL went the whole hog and became part of the “Sports Entertainment” empire.

Strip it of its cricketing status, ditch all IPL statistics and any pretence at an actual game of chance based on performance – make the whole damn thing scripted.  Get some decent creative writers in there and get some decent feuds going.  Referees on the take, managers interfering, owners interfering, Harbhajan getting chokeslammed into a table, Numbnuts Srinivasan getting his ass whipped in a cage match…

Why not? Salman Butt hinted as much during his trial.  Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler would make better commentators than Sooty Sivaramakrishnan, Madcap Morrison and the rest of the bunch.  The cricketers could have proper nicknames – Prowler Pollard, Horrible Harbhajan, Mitchell “Swinger” Johnson (maybe he could be the IPL’s version of the Godfather character?), Numbnuts “Macho Man” Srinivasan (or is he more of a snake?) and it can exist in that same sort of world the WWE does.

It won’t stop the discussions of matches and performances – there are plenty of magazines and forums out there discussing the ins and outs of the wrestling world – but we will all know where the IPL stands.  As far away from Test cricket as possible.

And the cricket world really needs to get a lot better at investigating corruption.