Sad but true, sports too has become part of the culture where material winner is now considered as the epitome of success. With huge multi-national corporations imbedding their jaws deep into this 'not so healthy anymore' culture, this shift from a healthy activity to a much more material culture has been a very rapid one.
Let us take the example of cricket .
Cricket without any doubt is by far the most famous of all sports in our country. No doubt, that this is a marvellous game and is also referred to as the 'Gentleman's Game'. But the truth is that this Gentleman's Game is falling prey to this idea of a corporate sport and decaying rapidly as it moves away from its ideology of bridging gaps between nations and communities.
The huge sponsor groups pour in lavish sums of money in the name of sponsorship and slowly start to manipulate this beautiful game by controlling the governing body of cricket , known as the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Well, just in order to clarify things, let us show you another picture with the same frame.
Soccer is the most widely played game on the face of this planet. But soccer too has been the most recent victim to this, where 'Money Power' has showed how it can alter and damage the goodwill of a sport. The corruption scandal in the governing body of FIFA hit the football world like a shock and eventually led to the ousting of the FIFA chief Sepp Blatter , who was the president of FIFA for more than a decade.
Nevertheless, coming back to cricket , this is not only concerned with the management and with the managerial affairs. But the fact is that it has now come onto the playing field as well and is directly affecting this beautiful game which we all passionately follow.
Sportsman, now days are running after money. Well, everyone wants to be rich and famous and this lust for money is very natural. But the disturbing part is that the essence of this beautiful game is being ruined.
The match fixing scandal in which three Pakistani cricketers were involved, namely Salman Butt - the then Test captain of Pakistan, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir -two of the most lethal bowlers of that time, is an opulent example of it. This was a rare case which got reported and went viral, but the truth is that hundreds of other players with similar involvement in such cases are out there playing and making illicit money. Yet they are safe, because these are all still not out on media and other agencies as they go unreported.
No matter what, the bitter reality is still the same that this Gentleman's Game is becoming only a Game; with the element of 'Gentleman' eradicating and slowly being overshadowed by material gains.
This as a matter of fact is not only disgraceful for the players, the cricketing fraternity, but also stigmatises the national integrity as well. Once you wear the cap of your team, you are representing your nation. And an act like these is similar to selling not only your own self esteem but also the name of your country. And if I am not wrong this is an act of treason, where you are playing with the emotions of people who pray for your success. This is betraying all those well wishes and people like us who are so passionate about the game and follow it madly.
Moreover, with all these glamorous leagues now being played, players are willing to play for these wealthy clubs and franchises even at the cost of their national duty. And it is not very difficult to understand why...
There is no myth in this and it is very easy to figure out that the contracts offered by these franchises and clubs to the players are so luxurious that no wonder why these leagues attract all those big guns and big players from all across the cricket playing nations and boards.
This has certainly decayed the sense of nationalism. The jingoism has been left far behind, and it is very saddening to see such portrayal of patriotism because no matter how big these players might have become, the foundation was always provided by the national boards and setting of such examples for the future players is very disturbing.
So it is the duty of the ICC to get it freed from all those elements which are proving to be a hindrance in protection on the essence of our game, and strengthen it strong policies in order to regulate the behaviour of strong boards. And furthermore, join hands with anti-corruption agencies to eradicate all those corrupt elements which are catastrophic for the game of cricket , because WE DO NOT LIKE CRICKET , WE LOVE IT.