Around two-fifths of Lab participants claimed to have watched the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season. Of those who watched the IPL only a third watched all or most of the matches.
In May 2013, Indian police arrested three cricketers from the Rajasthan Royals team on charges of spot-fixing in matches. The majority of Lab participants were aware that the three cricketers were arrested over allegations of spot fixing. We asked Lab participants how they reacted to this news:
“Shocked!!! Wasn't expecting it at all” Anon
“This news was really shocking and makes me wonder if we are just watching something which is already fixed by someone else- that cricket too is just for entertainment, like cinema with actors playing the part they have been asked to play. It is a shame and disgrace as the true spirit of watching cricket is lost due to a handful of corrupt cricketers” Anon
“No reaction, because it only and always happens in cricket” Rashid Al Ansari, UAE
“Cricket has turned to be a high gambling game for high profile people” Stibu Chervathur, India
“I was shocked initially...more because of the fame of one of the 3 cricketers...and later felt the issue was blown out of proportion. Cricket is one of the many money-making means in India, and I think that spicing up a match for the millions of viewers is something to be expected. What needs to follow is that the root source (the book keepers) need to be targeted and the problem stopped from there itself” Anon
“It was nothing new. In the last season also few cricketers were caught” Aamir, Pakistan
Interesting, most state that spot-fixing is an issue in the IPL, with half claiming that it is a wider issue.
“Spot fixing is an issue because the Indian Gambling lobby is very open” Anon
“Spot fixing has turned into a multi-million dollar business” Stibu Chervathur India
“3 professional cricketers have done it and they have got a large amount of money. IPL is all about money and fame. Others will do the same if an example is not put forward” Choudhary, UAE
“Spot fixing is something to spice up the matches. It is a menace, and yet very evidently operating right under the public's noses (the same public who often turn a blind eye for the sake of good entertainment)” Anon
A new standalone law to deal with “dishonest practices” in sports will be enacted soon in India. Despite the majority stating that they are confident that this new law will prevent such situations arising in the future, many Lab participants clearly have some reservations about the impact this law will have.
“As the roots of this match fixing are very deep and strong, it will not be easy task to remove this completely and easily” Anon
“They will find loopholes and work out new strategies” Rayan, UAE
“It’s Indian law can’t rely much on it...takes lot of time for results” Dia, UAE
“Corruption will always exist if the source is not cut off. Young (and old) cricketers will get lured by the nature of the reward. And sometimes it is just unfortunate that one cricketer gets caught for his act and others do not” Anon
Two fifths of Lab participants who watched the IPL this season state that the allegations of spot-fixing have changed the way they feel about the IPL.
“Not sure if I will watch IPL in the coming year” Owais, UAE
“No one will have fun watching IPL anymore if he/she knows that there was match fixing in IPL” Zhi, Pakistan
“All the audiences know that it is all about money in IPL” Aamir, Pakistan
“It has always been there, and it probably will continue for a few more seasons. Also, nothing is being done to reprimand the teams that had the guilty cricketers in question. So it does not affect them in the long run. Personally, IPL to me is just entertainment and all forms of entertainment have corruption at some level. Every movie watched probably had some form of corruption involved in its making- from script selection to casting to release dates. It’s all part of the industry” Anon
It appears that most Lab participants believe that spot-fixing is a significant problem in the IPL, although the majority are optimistic that the new law will prevent such situations arising in the future.