India has achieved a fair deal as a sporting entity. However, there are several instances where its administrators have brought shame to the country by their underhanded and domineering ways. The recent DDCA controversy could be interpreted as the latest in the assembly line of sporting controversies that India has faced over the years. The problem is primarily between the Delhi District Cricket Administration, headed by Arun Jaitley, and the state government, headed by Arvind Kejriwal. A number of leading cricketers from Delhi such as Bishan Singh Bedi and Kirti Azad, who happens to be a BJP MP as well, have complained that the state associated is deeply embroiled in corruption. Recently Azad professed in a press conference that he will keep fighting against corruption and was suspended by BJP for anti-party activities. Bedi had also asked as to why DDCA’s yearly grant was stopped by the BCCI.
Gautam Gambhir, the present captain of Delhi, has criticized the state association in the past for not doing enough for cricketers or even the game in particular. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office, which functions under the auspices of the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs, had unearthed 23 cases of significant financial issues. Other than this, the stadium’s construction was faulty, there were many cases of age fudging, etc. The state government had ordered a probe in November 2015 and alleged that the financial bungling occurred during the reign of Jaitley, who served for 13 years as DDCA chief. Jaitley reacted strongly to this and Chetan Chauhan, working president of DDCA, denied that any misappropriation had taken place during the former’s tenure.
IPL Betting and Spot Fixing Controversy
The IPL match fixing controversy took place during 2013. It started with the arrest of three cricketers – Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, and Ajit Chandila. Incidentally, all of them played for the Rajasthan Royals franchise. During the same year Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan, and Vindu Dara Singh were also arrested in a case of betting and for being connected to bookies. The contracts of the players were suspended later on by the franchise till investigation was completed. In that same year Asad Rauf, a Pakistani umpire, was relieved off his duties at the Champions Trophy when Mumbai Police was investigating his role in the spot fixing case. Later on, bookies Sunil Bhatia, Yahya Mohammad, and Vinod Mulchandani were arrested from the various parts of India for their role in the scam. Raj Kundra, a minority owner of Rajasthan Royals was also implicated in the case and had to forego his share in the franchise. The Supreme Court appointed a committee headed by retired judge Mukul Mudgal in 2014 to look into the case. In 2015, the three cricketers were allowed to go by a Delhi court because of lack of evidence. Supreme Court again instituted a committee under Justice Lodha, to look into the issue and he recommended that the owners of CSK and RR be suspended for being involved in betting. In fact, things reached such a head that Pepsi cancelled its title sponsorship of the tournament in 2015, which is a major blow to the credibility of the IPL.
Commonwealth Games Scam
The 2010 Commonwealth Games faced a number of controversies that basically marred the superb efforts of Indian athletes throughout the tournament. It came under heavy attack by several well-known social activists and politicians because billions of dollars had been spent in order to host the tournament in spite of the fact that India had one of the highest number of poor people in the world. A number of investigative bodies later found out that the organizing committee, headed by the likes of Suresh Kalmadi, had siphoned off serious amounts of money. Construction in some of the major venues was left unattended till the eleventh hour and this severely compromised infrastructure. The accommodation for athletes was not up to the mark and there were several complaints in this regard as well. There was also a chance that the tournament could have faced a terror attack and the ticket sales prior to the event were extremely bad.
Match Fixing Scandal in Cricket
Right at the turn of the new millennium Indian cricket was rocked by allegations of match fixing. During the 2000 series against South Africa it came to the fore that several leading Indian cricketers were embroiled in match fixing. India suffered a drubbing at the Proteas’ hands losing both the tests and this was the last time that Sachin Tendulkar captained the national side. It was at this time that CBI enquiries revealed that Mohammed Azharuddin had confessed to match fixing. He was also supposed to have introduced the bookies to Hansie Cronje. At that time Azhar was on the brink of playing his 100th test, something that he could never fulfill when he was suspended for life by the BCCI. Manoj Prabhakar is also a major name in this regard.
In 2000, the allrounder tried to prove that some of the leading cricketers of the national team, including Kapil Dev, had tried to fix matches. However, he could prove nothing and was instead proven guilty and banned by BCCI for five years. Ajay Jadeja, too, was suspended at the same time by the BCCI for match fixing for 5 years. He tried to fight the case in court but found no lawyer to represent him. Later on he was allowed to play domestic matches and captained Delhi and Rajasthan.