Bangalore: Before I joined Wisden India, I spent seven-odd years in the news television industry (there, you won't take me seriously again!). Being a producer-reporter-clown, part of my job was to get excited about every single news development, run to the camera and start talking - fast, often repeating myself, and, on the whole, creating the impression that I know everything about the story, its past, present and future, the causes and effects, the ramifications. I was also expected to pronounce judgements; usually, I stopped short of doing so.
It was very different this time around. When a news channel produced a sting operation during Indian Premier League 2012 involving five small-time cricketers making boastful claims on camera, for once, there was no need to launch into an immediate criticism of everyone from Srivastava to Srinivasan. Finally, there was time to sit back, look at the developments, and study all the angles.
Except that in The Case of the Five Foolish Cricketers, I came up with no fresh insights. There was never any doubt that T P Sudhindra, Shalabh Srivastava, Mohnish Mishra, Abhinav Bali and Amit Yadav would be hung out to dry by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. There was never any doubt that the IPL team owners would get together and agree that they were all innocent. And there was never any doubt that the cricketers would, in due course, sue the BCCI.