Imagine sitting in your bedroom with a group of friends and enjoying an intense encounter between two IPL teams. This could be the best possible way to spend an evening for cricket fans. But just as you are getting in the groove and enjoying the fierce battle on the field, one of your friends enters the room and asks you ‘What’s the score’. And you say X team requires 12 runs of the last over. The friend says, ‘Aah… another last over match huh? I wonder how does it happen every time. It’s all FIXED!’
That unspeakable word is enough to ruin your wonderful evening. The joy of witnessing your team snatch victory from the jaws of defeat holds very less importance, when people around you keep telling that the match was fixed.
Right from the start till the end of IPL, the Indian audience have been criticising it for being more about money and showbiz than cricket. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the IPL, with people claiming that it’s fixed. I think no one should comment on a topic which is as sensitive as fixing, without having adequate information, or any concrete proof to support their statement. I am not saying that there have been no cases of fixing in cricket (and in the IPL), but why suspect each and every action made by a player. If a catch is dropped then the match is fixed. If a full toss is bowled then the match is fixed. If a star player gets out easily then the match is fixed. Grow up people, even the cricketers are human. They are bound to make mistakes at some point, or the other.
People need to understand that pressure plays a huge role in crunch situations. Some handle it well, some don’t. So if in the final over of a match if a player drops a sitter, it does not mean that the match is fixed, it means that pressure got the better off him. We all need to accept the fact that in an IPL season running over two months with close to 70 odd matches, at least 15-20 are going to go down the wire, and it is not because the match is fixed it is because of the nature of the T20 game. Wasn’t shortening the game time, and getting interesting finishes the purpose of T20 in the first place?
It is high time that the Indian audience change their mindset, and start believing that the IPL is a fair and performance based tournament. There have been a few cases of fixing here and there, but that should not compel us to suspect every match that is played. It is like once you are cheated by your lover, you always keep cursing love and stop believing in it. You hesitate to fall in love again.
So don’t be let down by a few instances of fixing, stay positive and don’t let your love for the game die away. We need to learn a lot from the English fans. The entire BPL season has numerous matches with injury time goals, but none of the matches are labelled “Fixed”. They do not keep whining about close finishes, instead they enjoy the thrill and watch the games with passion.
Fixing has defamed cricketers as well as the game, but we should not be disheartened by a few stray incidents. Many precautions and strict measures have been taken by the ICC in order to prevent fixing. Moreover there is not much that we can do sitting at home. The best we can do is enjoy the game, and stop looking at the negative side of everything. Think positive and watch the game with passion. If you really love the game and watch every match from the start till the end you will know that the matches aren’t fixed. You can see the emotions of the players. The emotions are real. They cry, they laugh and they fight just because they love the game and they respect it.
People who played cricket and who still play cricket would know how pressure works. Even if the match is a friendly, you would want to win it. If you have to score 7 runs in the last over against the best bowler of the opposition then you will be under pressure. If you failed to score the runs then that doesn’t mean the match was fixed. It is just that the bowler was calm and bowled in the right areas and was better than you.
You accept the fact and move on.
This is just the way I see things, I am sure many of you won’t agree with me but just give it a thought.