Cricket is for India, what football is for Europe. The idea of league system in India has been adopted from Europe and the idea was executed beginning with Indian Premier League (IPL) and followed by other leagues like Indian Badminton League (Badminton), Indian Super League (Football), Kabaddi league etc. Over the years, IPL has almost reached the popularity of English Premier League of United Kingdom, National Basketball League of the United States and La Liga of Spain.
The good side to leagues is that it a medium to promote a particular sport, but the larger question is, is the league format actually supporting and uplifting Indian games, or is it that at the expense of players and the sport, only a selected few are making money.
|Sports leagues benefit limited people. Money earned by these leagues should be used in making infrastructure for neglected games. Renowned players should come forward to share their earned money for the betterment of talented and upcoming players. Sports leagues can come clean if moral policing comes from within. This apart, an autonomous body to keep a check on league authorities can also be considered.|
-Dr Rajpal Singh International shooter and coach
League is a business that makes big money for teams, their owners and broadcasters. Unfortunately, IPL and controversy has had an old relation. Since the inception of the IPL in 2008, it has always been in controversy. During the first two seasons, there was no oversight of the IPL by the ICC's anti-corruption unit. And diverting from the primary objective of promoting cricket in an already cricket loving country, it has reduced to becoming a mode of money making, betting and black money. In the name of sports, it can be alleged that other leagues too may fall in the same trap to rake in big money. With a population of more than a billion, India is a good market – the businessman is aware of the fact that India is the best place to sell sports and make money, and they are using it to their advantage. Because of betting and spot-fixing scandal, in recent days IPL has lost its credibility. There is a growing fear, this malaise may move to other sports league also.
Like in cricket, businessman and Bollywood stars are also investing their money in other sports league in the name of promoting games. The franchise of the team spends millions of dollars to buy star players and the recent example is of 2015 IPL bidding of Yuvraj Singh who has been bought for Rs 16 crore by Delhi Daredevils. It is evident then when most of the owners of the teams are businessman, they will not invest so much money just for the fun and betterment of games, they will definitely try to earn from this investment.
One cannot deny that glamour and entertainment value has brought the games to another level but, if the lack of rules and enforcements is not corrected timely, it will not be good for the future of sports leagues in India.
Leagues have become money making machine for the investors and the evil part is that only a certain amount of money is going back for the betterment of sports.
The problem actually is not with the league system; lack of transparency and involvement of businessman and politicians in sports have affected the sports standard. Expecting regulators and police only to solve the issue of corruption will absolve the sports practitioners from the responsibility. Since, the most effective moral policing comes from within, it is also the duty of both the players and the administrators to guard the integrity of the sport. -Nishant Kr Azad