A little over a week back, when Rajasthan Royals travelled to play Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on May 15, all was well with the world of the Indian Premier League. IPL 2013 seemed headed for an exciting on-field finish, the controversies of years gone by a distant memory. Then, all hell broke loose.
The arrests in Mumbai early the following morning of S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for their supposed involvement in spot-fixing opened up a can of worms, revealing a potential trail of ill-gotten gains that threatens once again to undermine the world's most lucrative, envied and pilloried domestic T20 league. A week is indeed a long time in competitive sport, but the show must go on.
It's against this backdrop of police investigations and enquries, of arrests and interrogations, of innuendo and whisper campaigns, that the two teams come face to face again, in the penultimate game of IPL VI. Cricket has almost been relegated to a sideshow in the last couple of weeks, notwithstanding two cracking playoff contests. Hopefully, it will re-assume centre stage at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday (May 24) when Mumbai and Rajasthan go head to head, with a date in the final against Chennai Super Kings on the line.