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Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
Outlook.com
Faith

This Is Not Cricket... No One, However High And Mighty, Is Above The Law

Do not abuse the trust or faith of any sizeable section of citizens, even BR Ambedkar had warned the rulers, reminds senior journalist Harish Khare

This Is Not Cricket... No One, However High And Mighty, Is Above The Law
This Is Not Cricket... No One, However High And Mighty, Is Above The Law
outlookindia.com
2019-12-31T16:14:40+05:30

Two decades ago, the nation was thorou­ghly outraged when we learnt of a betting scandal in Indian cricket. Bookies were suborning the ­professional integrity of cricketers to make them ­underperform. Recriminations, allegations and inquiries followed, and a few cricketers like Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar got a black name. No one except the betters has any reason to complain—after all, oblivious to all the off-field underhandedness, fans enjoyed the game in its fullness—yet there was outrage when rumours surfaced of the bookies’ role. Why? The fans felt their faith stood violated. This faith is that what we see in the cricket arena is an honest clash of skill, temperament, training and stamina between two sets of 11 young men. Call it belief, confidence or trust, faith in the integrity of the ‘game’ is vital to any collective endeavour. It is a basic condition of human civilisation to seek fairness in all our personal and social dealings.

When the cricket betting scandal surfaced, the matter ended up, expectedly, in a judicial enquiry. Justice Y.V. Chandrachud, who was entrusted with the task, ­concluded his report with this proposition: “It will be a sad day if the common men and women on whose ­support the game has occupied a place of pride will stay away, believing that the bookies, not the chosen 11, play the game.” If the fans’ faith in the fairness of the game gets shaken, they could withhold their applause and consent, depriving the players and administrators of any kind of credibility, leave along legitimacy.

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