Former Indian Leg Spinner Bishan Singh Bedi attended the Sahitya Aaj Tak Event along with another cricketer Madan Lal last week where he launched the Hindi version of ‘Democracy’s XI” authored by noted journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.
The discussions were informal and revolved around cricket and politics. On being questioned about the IPL, Bedi was initially hesitant to reply. However, he later opened up and said that there is no bigger scam in India except the Indian Premier League. He also called it a platform for money-laundering. The legendary cricketer alleged that no one knows where the money comes from or goes to.
On being countered that IPL had given opportunity to many local Tier II and III city players for promoting their skills at a national level selection, Bishan Singh Bedi was prompt to mention that IPL should not be the basis of Indian Cricket Team’s selection. He also said that players who did not earn as much as senior and popular players, would resort to betting openly to make a quick buck.
The discussion then moved on to dropping of Anil Kumble as the cricket coach last year. Bedi mocked the system by calling it a one man show who was dictating all terms in the game. To this, Sardesai equated the scenario to the current political scenario where he compared the One Man Dictatorship of Prime Minister Modi.
Bedi further said that one person was doing all he wanted to and we were letting it happen. He also mocked Kohli for his comment to a fan ‘asking him to leave India’ if he didn’t like Indian Cricketers. Bedi said, we as Indians have been tolerating this rubbish for too long now.
The panelists also discussed how every cricketer was no longer a sportsman and had turned into a brand without any connect with locals on ground. Rajdeep also criticised his own fraternity to give coverage only to brands, such as coverage of Virushka or Deep Veer Marriage, but failing to cover ground reports on unemployment in as much detail.
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