Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hashan Tillakaratne and the ghost of cricket past

Hashan Tillakaratne alleging match fixing in Sri Lankan cricket is a bit of a surprise. Not because he's made the allegation, but the timing.
Throwing a game away in cricket for money never went away. We all know this. It is an open secret, which even the ardent die-hard optimistic cricket lover cannot deny. Today, for me, watching a test match is poetry in motion. But at the back of my head, I always think something is amiss.
When Hansie Cronje confessed to killing the game and selling his country, I like millions of cricket fans was devastated. It comes to a point that sometimes when Sachin Tendulkar makes a century, I'm delighted. Other times, I think, "Was this century gifted to him in exchange for a house overlooking the Cape of Good Hope?"
Tillakaratne's allegations earlier involved cricketer-turned-politician Sanath Jayasuriya and cricketer-turned-administrator Arvinda de Silva. He then backtracked saying that he said no such thing.
Just before the West Indies tour, Suresh Raina was caught on camera with a bookie in Shirdi. His excuse was that the bookie could have just been in the frame at that time. While Raina can be justified with that excuse, he can't explain why the bookie was holding his arm.
We have an ICC chairman, who has alleged ties with Dawood Ibrahim. We have a former player, who has been accused of popularising match fixing in South Asia, coaching an IPL team, as well as being on a channel's commentary team. We have a politician-cum-commentator with a murder charge against him. Unfortunately, the poor bastard cannot be blamed. Most politicians in South Asia have a criminal charge against them.
Tillakaratne's charges just make the game a lot uglier. Sadly for cricket, it is not like that.

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