With the cricket world cup set to start Thursday, Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj in his Netflix show Patriot Act has talked about corruption in the sport, turning his lens on to the influence wielded by money power in the gentleman’s game by the governing bodies, particularly India.
In the latest episode of his show, Minhaj spoke about how the International Cricket Council has essentially been controlled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for several years now as India generates over 70 per cent of the revenue in the game.
This growth in India, he highlighted, has come at the expense of the global expansion of the game as the Big 3 in the sport – India, Australia and England – have changed contracts using their influence in the ICC and corner most of the revenues.
The most egregious example of this influence, Hasan said, was the change in format of the ICC World Cup, which will be played in a round-robin format for the first time since 1992. There would only be 10 teams participating in the tournament being held in UK and there would be no associate nation taking part.
The format would ensure that Indians play at least nine matches in the World Cup and reduces the chances of an underdog making the knockout stages.
On the show, Minhaj also pointed out how the emergence of the Indian Premiere League and the rise of its first chairman Lalit Modi played a major role in the process of bringing BCCI to its current state.
He also interviewed Modi, who was ousted as the IPL’s chairman after the third edition and has been accused of rigging IPL bids, corruption and money laundering by the BCCI.
Although Modi denied the allegations, he accepted the blame for “creating the war chest” for the BCCI, in an interview with Minhaj in London, where he is currently living in exile.
When Minhaj asked Modi, “Don’t you think you created this problem by creating the IPL,” he replied: “I did, and I didn’t foresee this. That’s right. I am to blame for it.”
In the interview, Hasan also talked about how Lalit Modi left India to avoid jail time for kidnapping charges. Lalit said that there was no jail time and he only had to do "200 hours of community service". Modi also said that there were no drugs involved and spoke about the incident when he was on his way to buy cocaine. Modi, however, says that he was "robbed on the way".
Lalit said that consuming cocaine was a part of his life. “I don't deny it and I have no shame about it. I have no problem with it but others do," he said.
Watch the full episode here: