(As imagined by Deepak Gopalakrishnan)
In a desperate attempt to get people interested in the ongoing Champions League T20 tournament, the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), it is learnt, is attempting to start a match-fixing scandal.
“It’s a disaster. Nobody is talking about the CLT20. I mean, what’s wrong with people? We get people at Mohali a match between Otago and Kandurata on a Tuesday, and nobody shows up? Ungrateful wretches!”, bellowed BCCI chief N Srin…. Er… Jagmohan Dal.. Er, said a top official of the BCCI.
Said another top official of the BCCI, “We have the second most glittering T20 tournament in the world going on right now, and still all people are talking about is Lalit Modi getting banned. I fail to understand! These are the same people who used to throng to stadiums to watch Kenya vs Zimbabwe when we hosted ODIs in the 1990s.”
It was a quite desperate attempt, we understand, from the BCCI that led to the decision to let a match-fixing scandal happen. “That’s the only thing people remember from the last IPL. In fact, ever since the controversy broke out, our viewership went through the roof. More people tuning in means more advertisers are interested. Ka-ching! We created a whole facade of attempting to clean up the game, we made a lot of noise during the IPL that ensured people would tune in. Once the tournament got over, of course, we were all back to our beach houses. Hehe.”
An independent research conducted showed that people’s interest in T20 tournaments have decreased because of various reasons: The top ones being: No more Sreesanth (which effectively alienated the Kerala and Gulf audiences), the acceptance that Sachin Tendulkar is a spent force, parents refusing to let their kids watch T20 because of an IQ drop watching Sameer Kochchar, the keen interest in the Ashes and the conclusion of Breaking Bad.
“Dammit, what a great show. Can’t wait to watch it on illegal torrents on Monday. Goddamnit, don’t tell me I have to go for that match in Ahmedabad that day!”, moaned a BCCI official, clearly letting his preferences known.
Public opinion over officially starting this match-fixing has predictably been divided.
“Not a bad idea. I didn’t even know there was a tournament going on. Now with some sleaze in the picture, there’s finally something to look forward to!”, gushed a cricket fan. “The TV always used to be on at work, I just thought it was some highlights or old programming!”
“Can’t wait for the match fixing”, said a journalist from a leading news daily. “It’ll start with some cricketers, and then extend to B-grade Bollywood actors desperate to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons (which will then get them an entry into Bigg Boss), and then some owners of teams and sponsors. If we’re lucky, we’ll have a sex scandal as well mired in the whole thing! Oooh, what entertainment! Surely better than Faisalabad Wolves!”
However, some people are not pleased. Particularly, former match-fixers themselves.
Ankit Chavan, accused of fixing last year, is nonplussed and says, “Hmph. A year late!”
Some cricketers from across the border were condescending. “Heh. If you want to become a true match fixer, you gotta learn from the very best”, one guffawed.
Veteran match-fixers as usual lamented how kids these days have it easy. “In our day, we had to fight to become recognized as match-fixers. Nowadays all you have to do is wait for the BCCI to give you a call. Rubbish,” said Mohammad Azharuddin.
We also went to Sreesanth, but he refused to comment. “I’m now a BCCI employee, they’ve hired me to scout talent and recruit.” And like all BCCI employees, he couldn’t criticize his employers - a practice pioneered by Ravi ‘Clichemonster’ Shastri and Sunny Gavaskar.
Meanwhile, all criticism aside, the number of searches for ‘Champions League T20’ and tune-ins to the matches have increased dramatically after the fixing announcement. #WhoWillFixToday started trending on Twitter barely minutes into the match.
“We always win”, said the BCCI president with a wink.