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Cricket in for a long and slow decline: Roebuck

April 9, 2011 - Sydney

Noted cricket commentator and columnist Peter Roebuck believes that the game of cricket is gradually descending into an entertaining circus, and for all practical purposes, is finished as an international game.

Taking a potshot at the Indian Premier League (IPL) through his syndicated column in The Sydney Morning Herald, he says that while this shortest form of cricket attracts large TV audiences and the best players in world cricket, it is a competition tainted by corruption, more concerned with money and show than the spirit of the game.

He believes that cricket is in for a long and slow decline caused "by a board that lacks vision and integrity, a board of knaves and fools that makes one-star decisions while staying in five-star hotels."

"Cricket has become a corrupt and worthless activity and deserves nothing better than the Indian Premier League, a format known for jiggery pokery, social excesses and cosmetic grins," he says.

He further goes on to say that the founder of IPL, Lalit Modi, can no longer set foot on Indian turf for fear of arrest due to financial irregularities.

"His mistake was to get caught. Along the way, he offended not only the minister of finance but elements in the Board of Control for Cricket in India intent on conveying respectability," Roebuck says.

"Modi was a remarkable organizer blessed with fierce energy, and burdened with a bulging ego and private excesses. Obviously that did not stop numerous supposedly dignified cricket folk licking his boots in a desperate and usually successful attempt to secure his favour," he adds.

Most likely, all the 74 IPL matches in the fourth edition it will be entertaining. It's all part of the new cricket, a game that exists not for its own sake but to make money, with a lot of it ending up in the wrong pockets.


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