Corruption in cricket has existed long before the start of the much-maligned Indian Premier League (IPL). The first roots of corruption could be traced back to the late 1980’s, when an unknown gentleman and walked into the Indian dressing room offering cars to all the players in return for a few favours. However, the man was reportedly driven away by the then captain of the Indian Cricket team, Kapil Dev. The man who had walked into the dressing room was alleged to be none other than Dawood Ibrahim. The dreaded gangster’s involvement and interest in cricket over the years are well known. It was only the beginning of corruption in cricket, which soon turned murky in the late nineties. All these events finally culminated in the ban on then Indian captain, Mohammad Azharuddin, his deputy, Ajay Jadeja, and wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia for match fixing, sending shockwaves across the cricketing world. Then came the IPL saga. Suffice to say, Lalit Modi’s venture had dealt a severe blow to Indian cricket. The latest victim to such corruption though is the District Cricket Association (DDCA).
On Wednesday morning, just before the match between Delhi and Haryana, the press had been detained outside the gates with entry out of bounds. This was apparently at the behest of Indian opener Chetan Chauhan, who is also a former Member of Parliament and currently the Vice President of the DDCA. The ban was in place because the press had apparently already photographed Chauhan with the banned Azharuddin who was invited by Chauhan to watch the match. Though, the BCCI does not have the authority to restrict Azharuddin from watching the match, the report that he made his way to the ground, got access to the dressing room and was seen having discussions with players and support staff including the match referee provoked chatter. This limited access grant is something that the BCCI might not take very lightly. Suffice to say, the DDCA is definitely heading through the roughest patch this year. The BCCI has stopped funds to the association after proper accounts and expenditures weren’t submitted by the association. In addition, there have been reports of fraud and money laundering against its President, SP Bansal. Earlier this month, the Delhi Government appointed a committee to look into the financial misdoings in the DDCA. In a scathing report on the DDCA, the committee found that “there were massive and continuing illegalities in the affiliation of certain clubs and thus concluded that they were not eligible to vote.” The committee also found “payments have been made to companies which have never done any job/work or assignment for which the payments were made to them.” The biggest problem the DDCA now faces is a revolt from the players. A player’s fee consists of the match fee from the association along with arrears from the BCCI. The players have already complained that they haven’t received their arrears from the BCCI for quite some time and it is the time they know why. When the BCCI got a wind of this, they immediately issued a notice asking for the names of the players in a list along with their dues and directed that they be cleared immediately. Ace players like Mithun Manhas and Virender Sehwag have already left the DDCA and moved to different teams. Mercifully, the fourth test match between South Africa and India later this month will be held in Delhi.