It all started with Azhar and Cronje. At least, to the outside world!! Cricket is considered to be the “Gentlemen” game. People were playing cricket out of their passion for the game and that induced the passion among the viewers.
But at this instance of time, cricket is no longer seen as a game. It is considered a business. Leave the endorsements for sports related stuff. Due to the sheer popularity and reach of the game in the Indian subcontinent, cricketers are chosen to endorse cars, bikes, banks, biscuits, shaving razors (!!) and the list goes on… If addition to these endorsements, there is another side of this business!! Match fixing and betting… And the recent incident involving Bob Woolmer suggests the extreme to which these can go.
Though the official investigation is on, the circumstances under which Bob was found dead raises many questions. If Bob died of cardiac arrest, what could be the explanation for the discovery of poison in his room? How can one explain the blood stains and injuries on his body? This incident comes a little later (less than 24 hrs) Pakistan’s awful loss to Ireland. Could there be any relation or is it just a coincidence? Answers to many of these questions might come after the investigation. If Bob’s death was indeed a murder, what frightens me is the dangerous path that the game is taking!!
With all these match fixing allegations, I sometimes wonder if it is worthy to be awake all night to watch a cricket match. Are we doing justice to ourselves to unequivocally support and follow the game, when somebody is sitting at the back and controlling the game?
Players must realize that cricket is so much revered by the fans and should not defame the game just for some extra bucks. As far as the Indian players are concerned, the money they make from the endorsements and the popularity they gain from the game, are much higher than an IAS officer serving the country. So there is no reason to take the ugly path and disappoint the people, for whom they are more than just players. We consider them the brand ambassadors of our country and they must do justice to our country. Hope there are no match fixes as far as India is considered and we move ahead in the World cup just by mere talent and effort.