The Indian Premier League is quickly gaining the tongue-in-cheek sobriquet of the ‘Indian Problem League’.
Spot-fixing charges,drunken behaviour by star owners,sexual misdemeanour by players IPL 5 has seen it all this year.
On Friday,Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach was arrested for allegedly molesting an American woman,Zohal Hamid,and severely beating up her fiancee. (Watch video)
Not to be mute spectators,politicians have raised their voices against the cricket gala,some strictly wanting the tournament to be banned. The IPL’s problems came up in the Lok Sabha today,with BJP member Kirti Azad even threatening to go on a fast unto death at the Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi from Sunday if no action is taken to address IPL controversies.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav demanded the tournament should be closed down. “IPL should be closed,” he told reporters outside Parliament House when asked to react on the spat between Shah Rukh Khan and Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials,and other controversies surrounding the game.
The Mumbai Cricket Association has banned Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Khan from entering the Wankhede Stadium for five years for misbehaving with its officials.
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy also demanded a ban on the IPL,alleging the “civilised game” of cricket has degenerated into a “vulgar” display of money and immorality leading to a threat to national security threat.
In a statement,Swamy said the ban could be lifted after barring actors and politicians from the management or ownership of teams.
“I demand the government ban the IPL tournament forthwith since the game’s collateral consequences are a degeneration of a civilised game of cricket into a vulgar display of money,immorality,all converting into a serious national security threat,” he said.
His comments came against the backdrop of Khan’s behaviour and also the arrest of an Australian player for allegedly molesting an American woman at a five- star hotel here.
“The recent incident of vulgar,unruly,rowdy behaviour of some players,owners and politicians make it necessary to impose this ban for a brief period,” he said.
Swamy said,”IPL has become a vehicle for generating black money,money laundering… anti-nationals like mafia are getting involved in it and this is bringing country’s morality to below acceptable levels. It should be banned.”
Seeking drastic changes in IPL,BJP MP Yashwant Sinha said,”Whatever is happening is neither cricket not is it our culture. The Sports Ministry should intervene and make drastic changes in the IPL.”
He said the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance has pointed out in its reports violations of IT rules and forex rules in IPL.
In the Lok Sabha,a demand was made for a high level probe into the affairs of the tournament.
Kirti Azad raised the issue during Zero Hour,alleging the IPL had converted cricket into just entertainment and the tournament is now surrounded by controversy after controversy.
Amid chants of ‘shame shame’ by some other members,Azad said prior to this incident,there were allegations of spot-fixing involving five players of the IPL and a scuffle involving a top actor who was said to be “drunk”.
“It (IPL) has reduced cricket to dance and drama. It looks like BCCI and IPL are above laws of the land… We keep writing letters but there is no action,” he said,demanding a high level inquiry into the affairs of IPL.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav joined him,saying he had raised a serious issue and government should pay attention. He also alleged that IPL was just “drama” and it was spoiling India’s culture.