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The fixing dilemma...


Cricket_Money_PowerThe IPL this year has vehemently advertised itself as entertainment. No self respecting cricket tournament would go 'jumping jhapak' when a boundary is hit. So quite clearly, integrity is not something this tournament holds on a pedestal. Since it is entertainment, would it be presumptuous to say it could be on the lines of WWE – World Wrestling Entertainment. This event is staged. The wrestlers are mere actors on a stage designed to crash through whenever a chokeslam is delivered. The results are...fixed.

Allegations of the IPL being fixed have been rampant this season. Twenty-nine games have been completed in this IPL 6. Few have been high scoring ones. Most of them have been low scoring encounters with close finishes. Some of these finishes have appeared more contrived than others. The ones that have gone according to the 'script' have elucidated tweets asking the IPL committee to not be so obvious about fixing.  

With different corporates involved in this billion dollar bat-ball fight, the organizers cannot afford to have too many bad seasons. Last year's and 2011's TRP ratings were apparently quite below par. The last 5 seasons had yielded only two superover finishes in all. KKR vs RR – the 10th match of IPL 2 and CSK vs KXIP – the 16th match of IPL 3. This year has already shown us 2. Hyderabad vs Bangalore – the 7th match and Bangalore vs Delhi – the 21st match.

There have been so many cases of money laundering and players accepting money under the table to play for a certain team. It isn't hard to believe they would do so to throw a match for their team.

The romantic's argument remains that it is too tough to involve every player and fix an entire match. It is a valid point. But what if the seniors are involved. They are influential and the young players might not have as much a bearing on the outcomes. The second argument is how can a player hit a six on the exact same ball that it is needed. Well, these days players are quite skillful and practise a lot. If the bowler bowls a half volley, the batsman is pretty well equipped to dispatch it. Case in point, AB de Villiers and the over by Umesh Yadav.

Whether or not these allegations are true, we continue to watch this grand reality show. Even though some of us believe we know the results, the action still seems to enthrall. To be honest, we don't really care if the results are predetermined as long as the match is fun to watch. The organizers know this and perhaps, just perhaps, could be taking advantage of it.

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