On May 22, Police sources told CNN IBN: "The involvement of a prominent Bangladeshi player, who never played in the IPL, has now emerged in the IPL spot-fixing scandal." It's pretty easy to throw dirt and dish out stories but until and unless strong evidence is available it's better not to claim such things. Tough times are always sensitive and while digging deep many stories crop up which at times sound very funny - will we discover the involvement of Barack Obama or Osama Bin Laden as well? It's better to dig deep cautiously.
To many Bangladeshis this news was not acceptable and many of us took it as a crude joke. In social media, many fans made fun of this news. But as a matter of fact, one cannot deny that spot-fixing did try to intervene Bangladesh's domestic cash-rich show, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). In the inaugural BPL, former Bangladeshi cricketer Shariful Haque was banned for an indefinite period after spot-fixing allegations were made against him.
The recommendation for Shariful's banning was made by a committee formed immediately after Mashrafe Mortaza claimed that he had been approached a day before the BPL kicked off. The decision made Shariful the first Bangladeshi cricketer to get banned for spot-fixing. Shariful played a solitary ODI for Bangladesh against India in 1998 and had unofficially retired from the game.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) by now must have monitored the IPL's spot-fixing saga and surely they must take necessary steps in controlling the entry of black souls in our cricket. The most susceptible targets will be those youngsters who come from the rural areas of Bangladesh to play cricket in the big districts. These youngsters are naïve, lack proper education and are never aware of the mysterious world of cricket. It's very easy for them to shake hands with dubious persons and unknowingly get themselves involved in the dark world.
What the BCB should do is take care of them like a father does his children. These naïve young souls need to be educated properly so that they develop cautiousness within themselves. They must be taught about ethics and the morale of this glorious game of cricket; that you play for your team and not money, that money must be earned through hard work and not by means of cheating. It's not only the duty of the BCB but also the duty of the seniors of Bangladesh cricket to make sure that these youngsters get the shelter of the honest souls. The BCB must develop a program where the seniors and top BCB officials will educate these young cricketers on how to travel through the topsy-turvy world of international cricket.
Again, the BCB must ensure the payments of these cricketers who start their career with various domestic teams. Most of these players don't come from well-to-do families and live on the payments paid by BCB. They need money badly. When they discover an irregularity regarding their payments frustrations creep in amongst them and it's at that point of time they start to think of earning through the wrong way.
The BCB should also monitor players' agents as well. How qualified a person an agent is and what sort of a background he has must be sorted out. Many crimes might occur through such agents who invite a catastrophe. Moreover, the umpires, conducting the games in domestic circuit must also be under strict monitoring as well. We all know the fate of Bangladesh's renowned umpire Nadir Shah.
These days, Bangladesh cricketers have become pretty lucrative for the sponsors, businessmen and many political personalities. It will be difficult to interfere in a cricketer's personal life and choices, but it's a fact that these businessmen or politicians are masters in exploiting weaknesses. They are cash thirsty and can cross any limits to earn money. Very few of them know the true spirit of cricket and witness cricket as a money making machine. There should also be a limitation in shaking hands with them.
The Dhaka Premier League will start on July 1. The BCB must start monitoring from this domestic competition. It's a fact that corruption is a massive problem in Bangladesh and there's always a risk of cricket to get affected as well. The most susceptible are our domestic competitions. And to stop the spreading of these diseases named match-fixing and spot-fixing, the BCB should have a sterner approach in limiting their ugly processions.
You can have utmost faith upon the current BCB chief Nazmul Hasan in taking such steps. Even though he's a businessman and politician but he is not like our traditional corrupted souls and is well aware about cricket's spirit and for a second never thinks cricket as a money making machine but respects it highly.
First Published: May 26, 2013, 4:45 PM IST