Thursday, April 22, 2010

Waiting for a star to fall

(Also in Bengali daily Ek Din)

It’s an old human frailty. We love seeing successful people fall. Fall hard. We middle-class sorts like success stories, but even more than that, we like seeing success stories go wrong.
Lalit Modi’s is one such story. He is a man we have loved to hate for the past three years, ever since the Indian Premier League became what it is. It was a borrowed idea; borrowed from the English Premier League. That too, after Subhash Chandra had used it first for the Indian Cricket League. It was put together by blackmailing and pressuring the entire cricket world. The ICL was killed; players across the world were threatened with international bans if they participated in the ICL. The ICC was bullied. The IPL was born.
Modi was the face of the IPL. Why? We don’t know. It was the BCCI’s property. Why did Modi become synonymous with it? Why did he get the chance to hobnob with the rich and famous? Why did he become the ‘Indian of the Year’ when he had very little to actually stake claim to?
And what’s happened now, after the Income Tax raids, is that Modi’s credibility, and the IPL’s credibility, have been questioned. Big time. Shashi Tharoor’s too, but that’s not my problem.
All along, we have heard that matches in the IPL were fixed. Were they now?
All along, we have wondered why one team is bought for 111 million dollars and another for 67 million dollars. How is that possible? Now, we wonder if Modi had fixed it that way.
All along, we have worried that too many of the teams are going to places where the current BCCI regime’s friends rule. Is that true?
All along, as we hated Lalit Modi and his guts, we waited for him to fall. Hard. On his face.
Is that happening now? Is the bubble going to burst? Is the fairytale over?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But at the same time, I just wonder; is Modi the worst of the lot? Or is there a bigger puppeteer pulling the strings? Is Modi just a pawn in a bigger game? Who knows!