Mumbai: The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just a few days away and the excitement is just as high as the previous season. However, the 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal is still fresh in the minds of many after shocking the cricket world a few years ago.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) fears that scheduling the IPL 2018 opening ceremony just before the opener (Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings) could once again open the doors for the same incident, in a report by CricketNext. The ceremony, which will run for ninety minutes, is expected to end around 7:15 pm, following which the two captains – Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will take the field by 7:30 pm for the toss.
As both the franchises will be heading to the ground for training just after the ceremony, this presents a change for potential fixers to approach the players in the form of a ground staff, who will be expected to clear the props and other materials.
Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has already written to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) to ensure that match-fixers don’t make their way in the team of the staff or crew members.
“As I had stated in the IPL Governing Council, the existence of close to 1000 additional people (workers, crew etc.) on the ground shortly before the game is to be played there may be an anti-corruption risk that we must be aware of in order to mitigate that risk. This is a thought for the consideration of all of you. This communication is, of course, subject to any decision or view of the Committee of Administrators,” a close BCCI source revealed what Anirudh wrote.
Bollywood stars such as Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Parineeti Chopra will be performing at the Wankhede Stadium and the CoA has to take steps to ensure suspicious people are prohibited from the function.
“The most important section where the captains take pledge to abide by the spirit of the game is anyway being signed the previous day. So, it doesn’t make sense why the opening is being hosted prior to the match. With so many people on the field of play wearing accreditations, it will indeed be very easy for any tout to mix in the crowd and pose as an official, to clear the ground post the opening ceremony. The CoA must look into this and ensure top security to keep dubious people out of sight,” he added.