In February, the Toyota University Cricket Championship grabbed the attention of the next generation of Indian cricketers. In March, the current generation of Indian cricketers redeemed themselves with a 4-0 clean sweep of Australia. In April, as if the previous 8 Test losses in a row had never happened, generations of Indians were once again eating, sleeping, drinking cricket with the start of the 6th edition of the IPL. In May, generations of cricketers were once again criticizing cricket, the IPL, the T20 format, players and the BCCI alike. In 2012, when I interviewed the then IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla for a story for my show titled 'The Good, Bad and Ugly of Indian Cricket' he said that 'the BCCI has become everyone's favorite punching bag'. The recent spot-fixing scandal has indeed opened a can of worms, but what shocks a young journalist like me is that not one cricket journalist can stick his neck out and say 'it came as a surprise to me'. What's emerged is that journalists in the field have always smelled something fishy. Yet not one has unearthed conclusively damning evidence. What does that say about us journalists? We're not doing enough punching!
Activists, the police and every Tom, Dick and Harry with a vested interest is motivated enough to take on the BCCI. But not journalists. On the other hand, one could argue that the BCCI has been as clean as holy water which is why people who might have tried to investigate failed to find much. But alarm bells would start to ring on most news channels if anyone said Mr. Srinivasan and the BCCI are clean as a whistle. It's no wonder that most respected voices are using the 'wait for the investigations to finish' excuse. The Indian judicial/investigation system is known to let people off the hook. So save the b$x# s%#t for someone else.
In the last four months, the only job that gave me an honest high was seeing the smiles on the faces of close to a hundred young cricketers participating in the Toyota University Cricket Championship. It might sound vain for an ambitious journalist but it is the surprising truth. Breaking the news for close to 3 hours on live television the day Sreesanth and company were arrested was painful. This is the heart talking. A little background would help - I'm a cricketer and a sportsperson first, a news broadcaster/journalist second. Watching the Indian team thump Australia 4-0 was confusing. Even experts suggested that cricket mattered little, the conditions were the real differentiators. The IPL gave the feeling that things were back to normal. Unfortunately, the business end of the tournament burst the bubble.