Cricket is no less than a religion in India. It’s a thread which unites all the Indians and with the new formats and leagues like Indian Premier League (IPL) the popularity of cricket is only growing. Becoming a cricketer is almost every Indian boy’s dream, but it looks like due to the presence of some corrupt elements in the administration of the game, they might not allow honest, hard-working and talented young individuals to move up the ranks and contribute to the expansion of the game.
A shocking revelation has come out which has shaken the entire cricketing world and is no less than a blot on Indian cricket. Mohammed Akram Saifi, near and dear of IPL chief and the senior Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, has been accused of asking for cash and prostitutes for the selection in Uttar Pradesh cricket team. Rajeev Shukla is currently the director of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA). Saifi, who is also executive assistant to Rajeev Shukla, has resigned from the post after a Hindi news channel telecasted a sting operation in which Saifi is allegedly asking for bribes and other kinds of favors. Cricketer Rahul Sharma made these accusations against Saifi. He also accused Saifi of having indulged in other corrupt practices like issuing fake birth certificates.
BCCI has asked its Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ajit Singh to investigate the matter and submit a report. BCCI’s ACU chief Ajit Singh said, “We have taken note of the sting and will examine the entire matter. We will be asking the channel for the audio and also examine the player involved. Until we speak to the people involved, it is difficult to say anything as of now.” The matter should be seriously investigated given the fact that a close-aide of notorious personality like Rajeev Shukla is involved in the scandal.
However, UPCA has rubbished the allegations and also questioned the credibility of Rahul Sharma. UPCA joint secretary Yudhveer Singh said, “We are open to any inquiry. We follow a very transparent selection process at the UPCA. I can’t comment on the conversation between the two as it is their personal matter.”He further added, “I have checked about Rahul Sharma and found out that he has never even been a part of the state probables. He has no credibility.”
The alleged bribe and sex for selection has disturbed the entire cricket community especially legendary cricketers of Uttar Pradesh who played for the Indian cricket team are extremely disturbed. Mohammed Kaif took to twitter to express his disappointments. He tweeted, “Shocked to hear about the extent of corruption in UP Cricket. Young talent being curbed by corrupt agents asking for favours. Hope @ShuklaRajiv ji ensures a fair investigation and justice to the young talent & helps restore UP Cricket. I stand by all those who have been exploited.”
RP Singh tweeted: “Corruption has been the root cause for the sad state of UP cricket and it stands exposed today. Shame that the future of young talent and UP cricket is compromised for personal gains. Hope fair investigation would help restore the dignity of the sport to its former glory.”
The pervert elements who are killing the game of the cricket should be severely punished by the BCCI. Such people are not just playing with the dreams of crores of Indian for whom cricket is a religion but also denying opportunities to talented cricketers. A heavy cleanup is required at the state level where ocean of corruption and irregularities exist.
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